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UnReal World => Stories => Topic started by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:05:33 PM

Title: [Brygun] Journal of Novrus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:05:33 PM
Greetings fellow Worlders.

First a thank you to Saami and Erkka for the game. I've decided to inspire writing practice by journal writing another Unreal World play through.

The first couple of posts will be reserved for overall information then the journal will start. If you want to get to the story skip down a few posts.

To those joining or already reading I enjoy the occasional comment from the readers. It is okay to post them in this thread.

Links to my other stories:


The island challenge

An adventure to emulate Conan

A long adventure establishing a first winter house

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:06:54 PM
Computer related matters such as saves and mods.

You will see some <save filename> at time. Mostly I do this to avoid bugs, wierd crashes and to make sure there is a sync between the journal and the game play. If you disagree with this then when you think Norvus died you can stop reading. My goal after all is to do the writing practice. Though it is possible Norvus will have what I consider a fair death.

There are a few mods in play related to self sufficiency, iron working and my own added items. These I had set up from months/year back so don't recall of which is in. I may switch mods part way along. To start with Im using those already installed which has Boudica in the filenames. Plus Im pretty sure Endive's is there. My own Brygun's added items is of course there though I have not yet updated it for various options we now have in the newer game versions. Privateer's fish cuts has been added in.
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:17:01 PM
Character creation

I wasn't initially planning on making a public journal so I didn't screenshot him right at the start. I did make a backup of his start so might at some point to dig that up. His starting gear is actually listed in the journal.

Norvus is a Reemi.
He was rerolled a few times to have decent stats. I prefer someone at least average in intelligence, endurance and agility. He did come out to a rather big fellow but that wasn't a reroll goal. It was good to see that he had 2 stars for learning most skills. It can be a rough go for the long quest I've planned without it.

For skill choices there was timber work, carpentry, hideworking and archery. Possibly the fifth was fishing or another weapon skill. That is likely whey he started with an axe and a bow.

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:23:56 PM
Life quest:

Norvus is saddled with the life quest that I like to call "The Smith of the North". This was done with earlier characters before Game of Thrones was a thing.

The goal is to travel to where the big lake connects to the southern coast, travel north and somewhere in the wilds start a stead. You can trade, later gift, iron goods to the northern tribes. Also there is the Kaumo to the south. Nerjpez are to the south east so you will have dangers and opportunities with them.

For the starting situation Norvus was given the "abandoned camp". This was to signify a few gifts and preparations for his long duration quest.

For the quest the "Advanced Adventures" was chosen. The basics of game is familiar to me and I don't want him to suddenly have the extra gear it provides to learn those game mechanics.
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:25:41 PM
Reserved post for anything else. Journal begins in the next post.
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:26:02 PM
Norvus awakes with snow fluttering down. A single fist full of clayweed leaves being the only goods left at the hunting lean to. He had hoped there would be more but what was left was always said to be for those that had needed. Someone else must have needed it in the winter.

Moving in the thick carpet of slow was tiring. He didn’t have skis, not yet. The snow drifts bloomed in eruptions as his thighs pushed forward.

Two felled trees and a stack of firewood attested that at least the other visitor had done some labor in exchange. At least that is what Norvus hoped. His other thought was some brigand had taken all they could and left the leaves more by neglect.

At least he was fairly equipped. His belt held a broad knife, good for skinning, a wrap for a quiver holding ten arrows and another wrap with his shortbow. It was lighter to carry though it was more he couldn’t have afforded a larger one. Not yet anyway. There was also his woodsman’s axe which surely would see much work in the year ahead. A spear was always useful. He didn’t have a shield as he was heading to live not war.

He rubs his cooling hands together. A blow of breath to give them warmth. Mittens or gloves would needed before the next winter. For now his family’s gift of a fur overcoat hung over him nicely. That on top of his fur shirt, nettle cloth trousers and a pair of fine boots. The latter a trade from a merchant who wanted the furs he and his brothers had collected over the winter. There had been enough fur left for his sister to make a fur cap that now warmed his ears.

His food pouch held just a few days of food. A loaf of bread, two cuts of meat and now the clayweed leaves. Clayweed was edible at least. It lacked other medical properties. He frowns then chuckles. There was another use for the leaves.

Kneeling in the snow he arranged the leaves before him.

His soft voice spoke, “Forest here is yours returned in the cycle of life. Together let us journey through life.”

His heart felt at ease. If the spirits were in harmony with him then indeed those few leaves were the greatest gift that could have been left at the shelter.

Rising he spun around again. His eyes seeking for what else there was.

“See the trees amid the forest.”

Grandfather’s words had slipped from his lips. There was a boulder, a stone, a rock, spruce and birch. Each spurred uses in his mind. The stone was laying near the shelter. Likely it was a cooking stone to be warmed by a fire next to it. The large boulder would reflect heat back to the shelter. The shelter a simple lean to of the spruce branches layered to shed water. Now with a settling of snow on top that added to its insulation.

“Always carry a rock.”

Norvus walked over to the rock. They had many uses. From a toy to occupy your hands, a thrower to untree a squirrel, a better digger than your nails, arranged for ceremonies, trail markers and so much more.

Circling the trees to get to the rock he spied an Adler tree. Near it was another. They had their own uses too. Adler and Rowan trees could be used in tanning instead of the animal’s own fats. A few sheets on hand meant saving that edible fat for one’s own nutrition. Birch bark sheets could be made into things.

In a few minutes the snow turned to rain. Moving a fallen tree trunk toward the camp a few more rocks and a straight thin pine were gathered.

“The forest will provide.”

Another of the grandfather’s wisdoms. If you think the forest can provide your senses will be open. If you think the forest is against you your heart will close up. The wilds were neutral but how your heart flows with spirits comes to be the many things the unskilled call luck.

While the rain pattered on the spruce needles of the shelter Norvus took out his knife. Birch bark can be shaped for an extra outer layer. Crude yes but it would protect the clothing underneath while trapping just a bit more heat. Though he would need cordage.

In a pouch was a finely made cord suitable for a bow string. He didn’t want to use that unless absolutely necessary. So it was time to dug up roots and peel apart thin branches. Split them. Then using a stone for a weight to braid them together. It took most of the day to do this chore.

Norvus slept in the camp. In the morning he ate half the bread then started east. Exhausted at a small lake he made a new lean to sleep in. A small fire getting the heating started. A nibble of meats that night was followed by the end of his foods the next day’s travel.

It was on this day he found a pair of villages.

At Hyhky’s Passage there was work to be had gathering large stones. They planned to refit their sauna. Working in the rain making snow into slush was slippering. Stones coated in slushy rain were cold in his bare hands. Holding the overcoat front up made a bowl to carry the stones. Back and forth from the fields three times made the pile high enough to be accepted.

With his axe he split boards from a trunk. They only accepted a few bare boards. Still it added to the value of work done enough to barter for one and half dozen cuts of prepared meat, a wooden shovel, a wooden bowl and a leather water skin. Roast meat flavored by the cooks was made even more wondrous by having not eaten since the morning. The shovel would push snow around at camps plus do digging in the warming spring. It was a nicety to have a bowl as it made eating feel much more civilized. Other than the immediate food it was the skin that was the most useful. It would let him carry water away from where he had pounded through the ice. 

Norvus rested in one of the houses. As is the custom he spoke of his own village and his travels. It was how news of life moved across the land. The youngsters asked about the braided roots. He held them up for them to see. Hemp or leather made better ropes yet many things could be made with these. After the tales he slept.

He awoke in the night cool as no one had made a fire. Fetching a section of the split tree trunk plus knocked off branches he brought them inside. He made a fire. The glow spread warmth over his new friends. A woman turned  to face the heat onto her face.

The next day Norvus scouted the near village but they had no chores to be done. A half dozen of the boards made already were useful to them. The trade being for more food. He made sure to balance between meat cuts and turnips. The latter weren’t as tasty but wouldn’t spoil. Before leaving Norvus figures on having a week of food. That wasn’t bad for the stop over.

To find the large river system to the inland lake he would have to make east or south or south east. Having only heard of it in stories he couldn’t  be sure. Better then to make to the coast to find the river mouth. East was also closing to where the Nerjpez made camp. That could be very dangerous.
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 09:27:35 PM
At noon the thigh deep snow had wearied him. Norvus used his spear butt to bang a hole in a lake. He drank the cold water beneath then tried fishing with his spear. No fish swam past his random hole. At least he was rested. The water skin hung inside his clothing was warmed by his body.

Come the evening a cliff jutted out of the forest. So there he built a shelter. A large boulder would reflect the heat while the cliff cut off much of the wind. Would it have been better to take to a hidden spot in the forest where even less wind got through the spruce? Perhaps. Then it might be challenge to ever find it again. A goshawk seemed to confirm this was a good choice for today.

Norvus places a ring of rocks then one large stone. The taller stone would heat more drawing the smoke to rise up it. This guides the smoke away from the shelter. A gift of a turnip was placed for the spirits. Perhaps a meat cut for the goshawk would have been better. His unpracticed hand struggled to get a fire going. After man tries he moved in some of the extra spruce bedding that was now a little drier. That at last caught a spark. Careful blowing brought the spruce twigs to a heat that got the fallen branch to overcome its dampness. So warmed in the cliffside shelter he slumbered to wake feeling warm.

This day the trek was mostly south. A river, snow layered on ice, gave a path to follow. At one point rapids babbled where the water flow raced faster than ice could form. By noon hills and jagged mounds hinted that the coast was near. From on top of one he could see an elk moving.

 Downing a moose would be a great find. Norvus was unsure his skills were up to it. His lack of skiis would make it impossible to do a chase hunt. A heaviness came to his heart as he had no preparations done to preserve so much meat. Today the forest was showing a possibility for the future. He gave thanks for that. He would not hunt the elk on this day.

There was more to be seen. To the southeast the ice gave way to blue. The sea!

Reaching in coast in the afternoon he set up a new shelter. This one a few steps in from the ice in a hollow made by a cluster of spruce. A ring of rocks and stone for the fire. Various woods gathered. He finally gave in to use the spare cord. He did his best to work it into a loop snare. There was a wisdom to setting snares when sleeping. You might wake up with fresh game. If not there were simple enough gather up to take to the next camp.

Before settling he took a young spruce trunk. Holding his axe with both hands near the blade the bark and uneven places were smoothed down. A point was cut then hardened in his camp fire. A woodsman’s javelin. He was lighter and faster than his spear. It might be better for fishing.

The next day he went east along the coast. Before mid day the coast was running north. He must be at or close to the great north running river. He made another camp with shelter, rock ring and fire against a reflecting boulder.

The day after that, Day 1 of the last week before summer, Norvus enters the Reemi village of Whirlbottom. There Olesa the woodsman agreed that one of Norvus’s root ropes would make a stronger lashing for a project Olesa was preparing for.

Olesa said, “You will be going to the great lake? I’ll trade you this old fishing pole. It was paid to me for fixing a roof this winter. My skills are in woodworking so I don’t have the time for fishing. Your rope though will let me finish work that pays in furs and meat. I hope you will catch the fish you need for your journey.”

Norvus was glad of the trade. He felt a little odd that it wasn’t a leather rope but if a rope holds a weight is it not a rope? Olesa also gave him an short cord. Norvus put in the sliding loop for another snare.

Looking to the sun in the clear sky showed it was already past its highest. Where had the time gone? Looking at his food pouch it wasn’t as full as before. Olessa had said there was work going on. Perhaps if their woodworker was busy there was a need for boards. Norvus decided to make boards to trade.

It was easy to fine a tipped tree. Clearing off the branches Norvus brought it inside the village perimeter. It was far easier to move a single solid log then a wiggle mass of boards. Besides the work would be noisy and might attract a customer. With his woodaxe Norvus took to splitting the log. Work that would see the run come close to the horizon.

Toumas the sage came by. Indeed he had heard the whacking sound of the axe blows. There was use for the boards. Toumas would carve decorations into the best of the lot. The others would be used here and there. The worse would be used for firewood.

Toumas said, “You need more than food for today. To make a new home you will need seeds as well. A seed’s power lay in what it becomes.”

After discussing back and forth Toumas gave Norvus two small baskets of turnip seeds, a crop he could eat, and a larger basket of hemp, which in time would become clothes. There was also a few dried fish added to his food pouch. There was a wisdom in what the sage had suggested. Food for now, food for later and clothing.

A diet of turnips and meat would be nourishing yet boring. There were bags of peas, beans and barley available. If he wanted those Norvus would need to do more work yet. The town would surely not need many more boards.

With where the sun was in the sky it wasn’t time to travel either. Norvus wanders the village and woods. He spoke with each of the villagers he met. He could stay a night here as a traveler telling of news. They would even ask of the nearby villages Norvus had been at recently. Settling upon a sleeping bunk he slept.

Waking before sunrise he asked for directions to the next village. Striking out there was more signs this was the great northern river. The next village is Bruin Passage. The had little to trade with no signs of bags of peas or beans. Norvus decides to continue on a ways.

The sun was rising. Eastward wide waters cut northward. Only the edges of the river where still icy. There was wide swaths of blue icy cold water which he dare not swim. Following this west bank northward Norvus found the village of Pitchwood. They did have bags of grains for sale. A tree felled then split into boards traded for a heavy bag of grains plus a few roasted meat cuts. The grain was heavy and he had far to journey. Norvus chose rye over barley.

<save Norvus got rye>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 10:11:05 PM
Moving on northward game could be seen. A reindeer would be a suitable catch. There was a badger and a pig as well. None of these could he pick up the tracks of. Pressing on he found a rapids with water access. This seemed a decent place to make a short term camp. Later he could use it while boating back to the Reemi.

He laid a trail marking set of small rocks to a large stone. That stone acting like an arrow head to point the direction of his camp amid the pines. Scouting he found a sheltered spot of spruce. Their boughs would so much better block wind and sight. He moved the markers to the shore near there.
His lean-to shelter was soon up. A ring of rocks and a large stone was laid for the campfire. Both snares were set. A starting stock of firewood was prepared with more wood to work on nearby. At the bank of the rapids he took out the fishing pole. Its flicking was unfamiliar. He got no fish so ate from his stores. Starting the fire Norvus settled in to sleep in the shelter. The basket and bags of seed were placed in a corner to keep dry. That and he didn’t need to be burdened by their weight until moving out of the camp. There was a risk of animals nibbling on them. Perhaps though this might bait game into one of the snares. Norvus was happy in knowing this rapid was a river in sight of the great river he had dreamed of finding.

Come the new morning it seemed prudent to explore around the improved camp. Hare tracks were on the snow. Perhaps a day old or perhaps from during the night. Prosperity seemed to be offered here. More fallen trees to. More than enough to make a raft to float out from the shore for fishing. Hours into the evening saw roots and bark thinned then braided until making the rope like cordage for the raft. More trail markers were placed along the shore. This time pointing to the landing point that then led to his camp.

Waking in the shelter sounds of rained filled the air. The rain thinning the snow ever so slightly. So to would the river unfreeze. The raft could then take him deep into the heartland. Skis and a pole would take an animal kill or two for the fur and leather. A raft was within his woodworking means. Then a sesta pushing stick or a paddle from boards. The heavy logs were lifted to be bound fast together. A cold drink from the rapids soothed his throat. With the rain gone Norvus felt like sitting inside his shelter to dry.


A hare was caught in one of the loop snares!

Quickly he thumped on it with the butt of his spear. In the snare it was but the hare dashed the short distances it could. Several blows were needed to knock it out. Soon it was skinned and processed. A work place had already been setup for working hides. That is a tree trunk as work bench plus stones and rocks for stretching a hide. A fresh ring of stones was laid near here to cook the meat. It was only a small amount but it was his first self caught meat since his journey began.

Before the day was out Norvus split out boards from a gathered tree trunk. It had become his first paddle. Far from wondrous it proved effective when he launched the raft. He only went out a little way. As a caution he let the raft bump up against a tall rock to keep it from being drawn downstream. Fishing out there was relaxing. Alas still no catch. Well he had freshly roasted hare to eat.

The hare’s skin was washed, tanned in its fats, rinsed and stretched. It was rather ragged looking. Far to crude for sell. Norvus was proud though. This was a start. Besides it would make a nice traveling pillow.

Morning fishing was again without success. Was this why the Olessa had traded it away? Was it an unlucky pole? Norvus laughed. No that wasn’t it. He wasn’t fishing for fun but for survival. He didn’t know the right spots. To appease the spirit he laid out an offering on one of the rising rocks he paddled out to.

Taking up a board he carved the two paw catching notches for a fox board. Setting it up Norvus wished he had planned ahead and not cooked all the hare. Uncooked meat was familiar to the foxes so that is what would attract them. Still it was decently made. Perhaps he would trade it at the next village.

For the afternoon Norvus wandered in a wide arc around this improved camp. The smaller river was to the west with the camp on the and between it and the great river to the east. When the ice melted he might well need that raft to cross back and forth. On the west side of the river there was hills and cliffs. From there he saw an elk. Once again declining to hunt what he couldn’t properly treat. The thought did come to him that a great portion of meat could be traded to the villages he already went. For now he returned to the camp to see if he could make a better paddle.

His second paddle came out with a few defects like his first. Now he had done two. The third paddle he remembered the mistakes and carved with more care in those places. This time the paddle was well shaped. It seemed like the ones that might be put up for trade. Well then he had done it.

The next day saw another failure to fish. Scouting around he tried to get close to the distant elk but didn’t find it. The rain was washing away tracks in the snow. Back at the camp he carved a few bowls, one came out rough the other was smooth. His food supplies were slim now. He’d have to trade the carved goods in one of the villages.

The next day Norvus mutters the rapids don’t cover the whole width of the river. He’d have to leave the raft on this side. Otherwise it would be on ice or he’d have to drag its heavy weight risking a sudden break of ice. If the ice melted while he was on the side with the villages he’d be cut off from his camp.

It took until the afternoon trudging south west to get back to the first village, Hyhk’s passage. For all his travels since he had done a wide U, going south to find the coast, then east to find the great river mouth and north along its banks.

“It is so much easier to get places when you know where you are going.”

The trading didn’t go well. All he managed was a few pounds of dried fish. Still he did need to eat. Bringing things here, including two unwanted boards, had taken most of the day. He would sleep here then make back to the camp on the next day. Fishing at the camp was again without reward.

In the morning Norvus took in the situation. The snow was now only ankle deep. Much easier to walk in. He had over a hundred pounds to carry when you figured in his clothing, weapons, tools and collection of three different types of seed. Leaving the raft behind was annoying as it meant a few days work, mostly in making the rope thick cords from roots and bark. If he left now he couldn’t take it with him. Staying here was proving awkward. He wasn’t catching fish and the villages were well stocked on the woodwork and carvings he could do.

Norvus decided to carry on northward on foot. This camp would be around for trade journeys. Decently stocked in wood in different shapes. A traveler could easily shelter here a night.

The day was a strange trek. It seemed he had found the north coast of the great inner lake. Yet there would be rivers running farther north. He met a wanderer going southbound who was glad to get directions from Norvus. They traded Norvus’s last two turnips for a cord Norvus made into a third loop snare. It took two days to find the likely one. The second of these camps was made at rapids. Ones that were the full river wide. Had he made his raft here he could cross to either side.

An interesting rock formation made a hook into the rapids. He could walk out a ways now without a raft. In the morning he tried fishing.


He brought in seven perches that morning. Another humor as the rain was finally thinning the ice. It wasn’t clear for rafting yet. Soon though.

The morning found a raven in a loop snare. He processed it including treating the skin for another small strip of leather. Two bream fish were caught as well. The mouth of this river, “Sun Stream”, seemed to over good success. Yet it wasn’t quite ideal for settling yet. After that extra day at the Sun Stream Norvus made north ward along it.

It was still early morning when he spied a Nerjpez.

<save Norvus first Nerj>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 10:23:25 PM
The Nerjpez was hundreds of yards off into the forest. To follow this river bank north was to pass nearby. Norvus’s knees where shaking. He wanted to be brave. His heart was telling him that if wasn’t ready to fight an elk he wasn’t ready to fight a Nerjpez warrior. Was it warrior? It could be a scout, a hunter, a lost wanderer. Worse it could be not just a warrior but one of their cheif’s on a personal quest. Would the Nerjpez have metal armor? Norvus had at best two layers of furs.

No shield.

Norvus had practiced fighting with a shield but he had none. He was looking to set up a stead. A close fight could go very bad.

Norvus hadn’t any herbs nor prepared bandages for wounds. The herbs hadn’t come into season yet. The bandages he could rip apart cloth for. If he defeated the Nerjpez he could tear up the opponent’s clothes. That is if he survived himself.

If it wasn’t a warrior the Nerjpez might be just as nervous as Norvus. It is said they liked to sneak upon camps. Norvus had made a few nearby to distract him. So maybe they might just pass be each other.

“I have to go on,” said Norvus.

Its not like he was going to turn back. He would be cautious with the Nerjpez and happy enough to just to slip past.

Within an hour Norvus was past the area. A few hours more saw him following the river northward. With all his concerns it past like a wind. Yet it had been a warning too. The Nerjpez camps were to the east. They would have men coming out this far.

In the early afternoon Norvus was following the west bank of a branch of the river. There was another rivers feeding in. Something made him feel he should get to the east bank. Up ahead on the east bank was a rocky rise. One above the trees with a good move. It might be a could place to make a camp. To get there would mean crossing the weakening ice.

Norvus stepped out slowly. It seemed safe. Several steps more made it seem possible.

A whip of cold lashed his body everywhere as the ice cracked away.

He flailed to get on the ice, up… down into the water as it gave way too.

Again and again with the weight of wet furs his strength was draining. Cold numbing hands and feet was numbing now forearms and calves.

He got onto the ice. Belly down waddling like a walrus he made to the shore.

The air today was warmer than usual but he was coated in ice. No shelter nearby. He needed a fire fast.

His eyes darted left and right. This was pine heathland. Wood for a fire sure. Covering for a shelter would be tricky. He staggers looking for a smaller tree to make an rapid fire. Moving closer he can see farther past it is a young spruce. That means spruce branches. After the fire he would gather the spruce twigs while leaving that beloved spruce tree alive to grow strong to rescue others.

“The forest will provide.”

Lengths of the young pine came down. One pushed to the side for the fire. Norvus leaned against an older pine. His hands so poorly working he could hardly grip. He leans his torso over the branches letting his own weight snap dry dead branches free. This would be the kindling.

Drowsy frigid numbness was soaking into him. He pushed the kindling into a crude triangle stand next to the chosen fire log. He took out his fire maker.

“Please, quickly.”

He spun it fast and faster. Adrenaline wasn’t the only thing pushing his hands and arms to somehow work. A spark. A puff of wind got it to linger on the kindling. The kindling caught. Soon the log was starting. Norvus huddles close to it.

Holding his hands close to the fire they started to become merely numb. He had the strength now. He went to the spruce grabbing the branches. Turn over, push, pull, cut and they came loose. His legs were wobbly as he went the few yards to the fire. The rest of the young pine was combined with these spruce twigs to a heat catching fire. The work kept his mind away from death. The work took effort which warmed his body. By the time it was done he was feeling warm again.

Still he went inside to dry. He hung his clothes to dry by the fire.

“That was dangerous. That was stupid. That was fun.”

Now he laughed. Nerjpez be damned. He had almost drowned in a frozen river.

He set out a dried bream in thanks.

Anxiety still circles round and round his being. Grandfather’s teachings came to him again.

“Travel with a calm mind. The hurried foot slips off a cliff.”

Norvus dresses then walks a near patrol of the emergency shelter. He soon moved in three fallen trees that could, with rope, make a raft. A rock and stone trail marker he placed at the coast. Norvus took time to look for a better spot for the shelter. That first building was done in the rush of near death. He decided to move it next to the young spruce that gave its limbs to save his life. There were several pines close to it with gaps the snares could block.

It was while rebuilding the shelter he slumped unconscious.

He came to with a spring rain falling on him. He finished this shelter in a few minutes. A short walk gathered rocks and a stone for a proper fire ring. More trail markers were placed. There was also an interesting spot to stand to fish at ice free rapids. Another young pine tree was felled and split into log lengths. He placed these near the shelter for whomever next needed a fire, possibly himself. Trying the fishing spot didn’t catch any fish but did settle him part way. Taking a drink and filling his water skin Norvus carries on northward. Northward on this side of the river.

It was two days traveling in which he found the source of the river he had followed. So now he circled behind to the shore of yet another river. He new it was two days as he had built two shelters. Now roughly spaced a day’s journey apart.

It was on the third he found a Kaumolais village at “Hitto Rapids.” There Nyri needed branches gathered for kindling their fires. He wanted a large bundle to do them for the next few weeks. Simple enough for Norvus.

<save Norvus Kaumo 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 19, 2018, 10:27:07 PM
As well as the chore Norvus stayed overnight preparing boards and carving a few for villager’s needs. He was able to be paid with some roasted meat plus bags each half full of barley grains, broad beans and peas. Good additions to his future farm. The half bags were better he felt as he still needed to carry thing a far distance. A selection of turnips, as a ready to eat food, completed his trade in Hitto’s Rapids.

Everything he was carrying was nearly two hundred pounds. The river were still covered with thin ice so rafting wasn’t yet an option. Trudging northward under his burden he came across a family stead. However, it was on the other side of the river. Norvus knew far to well the risk of trying to cross the thinned ice.

In the early evening he found the village of Pot Stream. The name made him remember he needed to buy, or make, an iron pot. It would make the cooking in his stead so much better. One could make a hollow block of wood, fill it with hot rocks from a fire and eventually get a boil. Iron pots were expensive. Several pounds of iron shaped into the large bowl shape. Norvus would needed to figure out how to pay for one.

For now he spent a few days wandering the ends of the rivers. Finding Kaumois settlements here and there. He was getting closer to choosing where to live. Yet now he was finding the river starts it wouldn’t quite be so certain they led to the great river mouth.

The first Owl tribe village was at Flower Wild. They had a herd of reindeer. Norvus enjoyed looking at them even petting their noses. Among the available trade goods was a might northern bow. One day Norvus hoped to get one. For now he boarded, carved and traded for a stack of dried squirrel meat and a half dozen arrows. Arrows were a light trade item with decent worth. Each arrow could in a skilled hand become a new game animal with meat and hide. One day Norvus might be that good. His mind drifted to his youthful archery practice where he did an adequate job at competing with the adults.

Now came a retracing of steps. Expanding his search for a place to homestead. This would be near the Owl and Kaumo. Hopefully on a lake or river leading to the great river opening to the southern sea.

Of the land he searched there was one hill. It stood back from a lake which in turn was back from a greater lake. This hill would be a good spot in hunting or patrolling to see far away. Around was spruce and pine. Mire and lichens. Dense and sparse trees. The sparse trees would be easier to convert to fields. He could not see a grove near here. There was narrows between the waters that one could make a trap fence across. Another good plan for hunting. There was no rapids near though meaning winter would take chopping into ice.

Checking and rechecking he found a spot hard to be seen. That could hide one from Nerjpez searchers, should they come the farther way to here. He would make a good camp here. His mind was still debating to do all the other work to make this his homestead. It was a good spot yet once begun it would harsh to learn of a better spot nearby.

<save Norvus chosen camp>

He made an offering to the local spirits. Setting about preparing a shelter birds flew by this way and that. A sign of prosperity.

A great burden was lifted from his shoulders. That being all the seeds and the few tools he had brought with him. One was the paddle he made for his fishing raft perhaps two weeks ago. The raft was two heavy to bring but not the paddle. Others brought back other memories. There was the hare fur from his first trapped animal and raven feathers. For seeds he had turnip, hemp, barley, rye, broad beans and peas.

What he really needed to do was to get the fields started. With spring well on the lean to and a fire would be warm enough. For that shelter he found a spot amid a cluster of spruce trees just big enough for the shelter and a fire. One easily blocked off by a single trap to safe guard from Nerjpez or catch game trying to get at the seeds. One birch tree was an oddity in the spruce tree ring. Yet in such differences there was a strength. Norvus thought it being like his fire rings with one large stone joined by rocks. That fire ring and trail markers were his next task. After all what good is your shelter if it is so hidden even you can’t find it.

This was also a time to set the three loop snares and the two fox boards with him. He hadn’t even finished when he had his first catch! A hare in a loop snare on the south side of the shelter’s spruce ring. Prosperous indeed! After removing the skin and carving away the meat he offered a portion to the spirits. He felt a bit uneasy. Perhaps the spirits had already accepted him and this was like shouting at them like a newborn. While scraping clean the hare’s hide a grouse was caught!

While gathering kindling he found an Adler tree next to a Birch. Two more good resources right at hand. On the way back there was a fluttering and thrashing as another grouse had gone into the same reset snare. Before he went to sleep the count for the first day was one hare and three grouse.

His near patrol for the day gathered stones and a fallen tree. He hoped to find a larger tree circle. One that would be large enough to store goods and move around to work on them. It would need new traps to secure the ways between the trees. He also found a medium sized clearing with higher ground in the center. This might be a place to make a house, maybe. That would be much later in the year.

<save Norvus expanding 001>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 20, 2018, 04:47:21 AM
Norvus kneels down to pat the ground. It would be soft. Moss was covering the ground. This was more a spruce mire than a forest. A hundred yards to the west the ground was stronger. It would be drier. Better described as a coniferous forest. He might be healthier to build the stead there. If it could be hidden in a similar that is. Norvus moved around now scouting that area. It wasn’t as well hidden with sight lines going to the south east.

The amount of work that was going to happen makes the choice of steading location vital to the efforts to follow. While exploring he gathers rocks and stones. He wandered to the hill and the lichen covered pines of its southern slope. The sparse trees there made making fields easier. He was being troubled by the this or that decisions gnawing at him. Returning to camp he piled the rocks and stones in a growing pile.

Weariness was calling so he sat on the bank. He would fish through the hole in the ice from his hideworking. Well that was the plan. The line hung oddly in the water. Looking in he could see the water was too shallow. Norvus sighs. Searching around the lake he chose a place where the bank was more sloped. He whacked away the ice with his woodsman’s axe. The choice was good as the water was deep enough for the hook to float properly. In the evening he had pulled up a pike and two bream. He started to clean a bream when he slipped from sitting to being on the ground. He had to sleep.

In the morning he reset the three loop snares and two fox traps. Then he cut the bream some more and roasted most of the fish. He saved a portion uncooked which he placed with a prayer back in the ice hole he had fished from. It would ease the fish spirits returning and of course bait other fish over.

One farming idea he remembered was to spread out the daily cooking fires. Then the ash can be turned into the soil to make fertile soil. The soil was starting to thaw. Awkwardly the wooden shovel, a thoughtful purchase in his journey, turned the moss, ash and a bit of soil. He would plant larger fields elsewhere. These cooking spots become a small garden.

(Note: game mechanics can make processing the 100s of items in a field do wonky things. It is for this reason large fields should be a at least a couple map tiles from your homestead with its own 100s of items. A few spots of garden near the stead should be okay.)

Norvus thought again of his tasks ahead. He would need a cellar soon, to better preserve what food he could get. He needed to get that food, such as hunting elk he had passed on earlier. The fields for planting needed to be burned then ash turned into the soil. Plant the fields. Build a trap fence. Set a trap line. Decide where to build the stead. Build the first room of a house with a chimney before winter comes again. Make a punt or water craft for later journey’s south. All the while he would need  to keep himself feed by hunting or fishing or gathering. Blueberry shrubs were noticeable in the area though months from having berries to eat.

Norvus did decide to make use of a larger clearing. His needs had changed from hiding to a production camp. One where within an area enclosed by trees and traps there could be the fire ring, shelter, a cellar backed away from the cellar, a place for cooking and places for storage. After debating between two spots he picked one near the rise he had thought might be used for the stead. Though this spot also seemed a good spot for a spiritual center.

He stood branches up right in a line from the camp back towards the lake. A good trail marker to follow. That would work for enemies too all assuming they had even come this close. Lever traps were set at the new camp. The fox traps moved and the loop snares back in his pocket for traveling.

Gathering and searching he found that a minutes walk to the south there was an east to west rise there for some reason the moss did not grow. There was a space here big enough for a small stead. Looking farther out around this spot was well hidden by the spruce. You couldn’t see or be seen from the shore. Water wasn’t immediately handy but there was less risk of a boater finding them. This was added to his list of possible stead building sites. 

Another possible stead spot was noticed. One where the ground was naturally sunken inside a ring of earth. There was a protrusion that could well serve as a ramp up and down where a door could go. If he put walls up on the ring the interior ceiling would be naturally higher. All was moss covered. It would be a larger house for sure.

Norvus tried to focus his mind. The cellar should go in. Any big surplus of food needs to be kept cool. A pit in the ground, stones to brace the walls and a hatch of boards. Perhaps spruce at the bottom for a drainage layer.

He started a wide search. He found suitable stones and rolled a fallen tree toward the camp. It was exhausting work so at noon he stopped the rolling near his fishing ice hole. He fished but caught nothing. Finishing the roll to the camp he was pleased to see a grouse caught in one of the perimeter traps. By the time he went to sleep firewood was split, the grouse was cooked, the cooling cellar pit was done and the seeds safely stored inside. An extra stone was placed on the hatch to better weight it down.

The morning was now into the beginning of Seedtime month. He really needed to the crops started. He decided not to use the lichen pine area. Instead the soil seemed better in the heathland. The spot he chose was also fairly hidden. It was only a few hundred yards from the camp so he should be able to go back to sleep at night. It would however not be so kind on making rectangular fields. The pines where here and there and everywhere. He started by making firewood then making using branches in a one-one-one-three pattern for trail markers.

Fire took to the lay of firewoods for the first plot. A few trees caught fire. Though worried the fires didn’t spread farther out. The labor intensive work of turning soil and ash together now began. It would be days of firing and turning to have good sized fields. Along the way he would start planting seeds so might get at least some crop. The camps various lever traps, clusters had been placed in tree gaps, were snaring the odd bird. That meant a supply of meat during the fielding. It was a race though. It was already getting dubious to plant rye. For now he would pass on preparing the bird hides. The fielding is urgent. The recently turned soil was still to hot for seeds. How much could he get planted?

<save Norvus Fielding 001>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 21, 2018, 03:03:46 AM
(Note: For a planting guideline on when to plant crops see
http://www.unrealworld.fi/wiki/index.php?title=Agriculture_(Skill)#Farmer.27s_calendar  )

He was spending days burning and turning in the slash and burn method. More efficient by spreading split down firewood pieces across the field to be. Yet his fires took a tree here and there. This was by far the hardest he ever worked in his life. The trek here was never as exhausting as this. Sometimes he slept next to the fields awoken by rains. Food was running short, unless he started eating his seed stores of beans and peas. At least some of the beans where in soil now. So to was some rye and hemp.

On this return from the field he heard a yelp. A fox was hanging by its paw on one of the foxboards. A good catch. Grouse were got now and then. He finished the fox off, skinned, butchered and offered a portion to send its spirit home. Norvus walked over to his tanning tanning station on the bank. He heard a snuffle. Was that a pig or boar? He turned around a tree to see a glutton. A wolverine foreigners might say. One of the dangerous beasts for though smaller it was strong with sharp claws and a meaner attitude than a town drunk who found his wife in bed with another man.

The glutton scampered off.

Norvus blinked his eyes. He hadn’t expected to see one of those. He followed the tracks only briefly. He was still committed to laying the fields. The meat of the beast would be wonderful. There was a balance in considering the danger. He had no larger traps set yet that could catch it. The light style of lever traps it could shrug off.

Norvus changed his mind about fielding. Defending the camp including keeping him safe when sleeping. Setting a heavy dead-fall for the glutton was a new priority. Fortunately he had already gathered wood shafts for the trap roof, stones to weight it, other wood to balance it. What he needed was cordage. For that he split, twisted and tied the the bird skins into a length of leather rope. For bait he would for now borrow the rotting meat from one of the fox traps. At least he knew where to put it, near where it was seen. He piled a stash of rocks nearby as things to be thrown at a trapped beast.

Pride in setting the trap was soon off set by the hunger pains. The meat and fish were consumed. All but a few turnips for trap bait as well. He’d have to spend some time fishing or hunting. Time that would be taken away from the fields. There was some plants sprouting now. There would be a small harvest. Starvation was nibbling at him. He really did more food for now.

He turned a few more plots of ash and soil together. He came back to the camp feeling sad. A sense of defeat. He couldn’t keep fielding. It wasn’t a dreadful defeat. There was many accomplishments done. Had he been unkind to the spirits? Had he forgotten trapping lore?

What was that sound?

Norvus crouched be a spruce. A broad smile grew across his face. There in the brand new big deadfall was the glutton! With all its meat and fur. It thrashed around wounded. The pinning of the stones on the wood was too much for it to break free. A pinned leg seemed unresponsive to the beast’s motion.

The voice of his grandfather came to his mind.

“If you keep doing the right things the goods thing will come.”

Picking up the stash of rocks Norvus begins pelting the glutton. Once it was worn down he’d risk his few arrows. His aim with rocks and arrows was poor. It wasn’t until after two volleys of rocks and two hands of arrows did he register his body was exhausted from the fielding. The glutton now was battered and sprouting four arrows. Its breath stopped. Removed the trap the beast weighed twenty nine pounds. It yielded its hide and thirteen one-pound cuts of meat. The first was offered back to the spirit realm.

The next day the preparation of the glutton’s fur was done. Recalling the troubles in his travel the very first thing he made was a pair of fur mittens. Two more birds had waddled into the lever traps. Together there was enough food for a few more days of fielding.
By the time those foods were used there was only a few pounds of broad beans left. Norvus set those aside in the cellar as a safeguard in case his planted crop died. There was already planted some rye, barley, hemp and peas as well. Not very many but a bit of each. His backed ache. Fishing when tired hadn’t brought up more fish. Berry plants in the area were coming along but were still months from bearing ripe fruit. It was day 7 of the 9th week before midsummer thus roughly the middle of Seedtime. He took a breath to plan what he should do next.

<save Norvus fielding 002>

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 22, 2018, 04:04:36 AM
This day was spent reseting the traps of line near the camp. It had been productive so far. It was close to the camp which ought to scare animals away. Yet his cooking, butchering and storing foods could also draw them in. He sat to fish near the camp with once again no catch. Next there was a few traps now at the fields to check, test and reset. Far from a full enclosure. The hope was to catch an animal to make up in food value what it may have eaten. Norvus climbed to the lonely hill. Looking as far as he could there was no signs of game. He strolled to the narrows between the great lake and the large lake to the north. There were excellent spots for a trap fence. That was something to do when he had food and not having to do the fielding. Fishing in the evening finally produced some fish. A roach was offered up right away in thanks. Juupalaaja, Juupa-wide, was proving to be an interesting location. 

He worked hard to expand the field. Planting strips of the growing field with new crops. It was far too late now to rye. Keeping fed was a losing battle. Starvation made him dizzy. While fishing, without luck, he looked at what remained of the bag of peas. Most was now in the fields. There was enough to plant a bit more and have that reserve for seed if the crop failed. His head wobbled. His mouth drooled.
In a rapid minute had eaten a pound and half of the peas! He barely had recollection of starting to eat. Only that he was done. His stomach gurgled happily. His limbs were far from restored from the weeks of hard labor with reduced rations. Cursing his loss of will he put what remained of the peas in the cellar. There was a few pounds left for an emergency restart of the fields.
Looking in the cellar he spied the bag of rye grains. He hadn’t been able to plant much at all. Perhaps he should thresh some to make some cakes. Really would be better to now bring in a big game or lots of fish. For the fields he still had time to lay a turnip patch. How is head hurt from the starvation. He laid on his fur overcoat inside the shelter. It was taken off as the weather warmed. He laid down to rest. At least he had lots to drink from the lakes.

At least a week went by of struggling for fishing and trapping while partially starving yet still doing the heavy labor of turning more ash into soil for fielding. Here and there grouse got trapped by the camp or near the fields. Traps around the fields were spotty. At least they would capture some meat for what plants had been eaten. Two patches of turnips were planted by the time it was fallow month.
Norvus had indeed ground rye into flour to bake flat breads. A few pounds of the grain gone. Still plenty of seed, or winter flour, left. It made a difference in these harsh times. Enough bird skins were processed to make the joint in a grain flail. That would be need in the fall. For now he placed it in the cellar.
One might get a few more broad beans or peas in. Grains like barley and rye need much more time. He decided what fields he now did would again be a mix of beans and peas. The idea of having to eat so many turnips in the winter didn’t feel appealing. This would use that reserve of beans and peas. The way those planted were already growing and the scattering of field protecting traps made Norvus more confident of a fall harvest.
He visited the hill. This time scouring it for large stones. These he brought to the fields. Each stone the power source for a lever trap. The protective trap rings were still far from complete. Each trap though limited the safe approaches increasing the chances of the plant crops luring in game to give meat.

On the first day of the fifth week to midsummer, still in early Fallow month, he decided he was done fielding for this year. The last of the beans and peas were in. He had started to use turnip seeds to fill in the ash turned soil. Berry bushes were still months away. Then to would be so many other plants to harvest in the wilds. Norvus celebrated by baking more rye biscuits that he hungrily devoured. For a few days he would focus on immediate foods by fishing or if lucky hunting. The spirits had been kind to send to game his camp’s trap line and the field’s guarding traps.
The next day he had two rye biscuits and a roasted bream fish in his food pouch. His body felt healthy. He began his hunting wanderings. Soon he spotted a grouse nest with seven eggs. He wondered if this had belonged to one of the many grouse he had caught over last few weeks. It was quite possible and if so no parent would sit to hatch the eggs. One was given to the spirits, one he ate and the others would be kept for traveling food. Gathering stones as he went westward perhaps one or two bow shots away he spotted lynx tracks. He wasn’t able to track them very far on the lichens of the pine woods near the hill.
That same day at the main camp he started a fire to cook small roach fish when he heard a snuffle. Just like when he had a heard the glutton. Norvus felt secure in his camp with traps. The trap line with the big trap might do the work for him. He was about to fall asleep too. Going out about to drop asleep was no way to hunt a potential man killer. Checking the traps right close to the shelter he snuggled down. He did clasp hands onto his spear as he slept.

In the morning he shook off his fur overcoat. Long had it been a below-blanket in the camp shelter. Now he wasn’t donning it for warmth. Layering up was the best form of armor he had. He chose to go forth with his woodsman’s axe. His best style of combat. He crept out of the shelter’s small enclosure. This took quietly deactivating a trap. Soft stepping along the edges of his foot the search began. Looking to trap line those he saw where in place. Creeping along he smiled. Indeed the big trap had caught its second glutton.
Norvus swung with the axe reversed, in a hope to preserve the fur. Twice he hit the frightened beast before it suddenly lashed with claws at him. He skidded his legs back leaving his torso bending forward. It worked. He stepped back to watch the fierce creature. It was safer to use his bow. The first few arrows missed as it desperately shifted under the trap. Now he had seen how it moved. The next few arrows struck with one bleeding from the abdomen. It slumped unconscious. Norvus took out his knife to finish it when it began thrashing again. Quickly he backed up. These gluttons (wolverines) truly are relentless. More arrows and he cut its neck. Yet it was still heaving as it breathed. Still it wasn’t going to pass on. Stepping forward Norvus made another cut along the neck then stepped back. He waited silently watching in respect. It was several minutes before the glutton stopped breathing. Norvus was glad he respected the beast’s battle skill and had let the trap do the work rather than facing it in the open.

It was while processing the kill that fresh elk tracks were found at the trap line. An elk had wandered by. Perhaps while Norvus slept and the glutton thrashed in the trap. Norvus gave the first cut glutton meat to the spirits and the second to re-bait the large trap. If uncooked the meat would go to waste. First he’d cook it then he would have a few days food to stalk the elk, if he could keep up the trail.
The rain at first made it harder washing the tracks. Then as the ground became muddy the tracks held better. When Norvus thought he lost the trail he backed up to the last he had found. Three branches were stuck in the ground together. This would be the hub of his spoke and edge search. It took a while yet with this technique you will often find the trail as it crosses over the rim of your “wheel”.
Over and over again Norvus found the tracks of the one glutton or the other. They had been around the area more than he had known.
An hour or two in the rain. With the cloud blocking the sun it was hard to know. A raven perched on a tall spruce idly preened its feathers. It was here Norvus lost the trail again. Perhaps the raven was playing a trick on him to let the elk escape. Perhaps the raven was there to judge that he had done well to track the elk this far. Norvus did his hub and circled the wheel of the last tracks to no avail. Turning back he past by where the raven had lured him off. Amid the pines was more large stones. The kind he needed for traps and for chimneys. Perhaps the raven had been a friend after all. It was while gathering the stones the elk trail was spotted again. Now he was trudging with a great weight of stones. Perhaps the raven had tricked him after all. Norvus let out a soft laugh at the thought of the raven watching the now burdened man trying to catch an elk.

Bear tracks. Day old bear tracks.

“Oh great now the raven wants me to carry stones while running away from a bear.”

He laughed.

Soon he started to think the elk had turned for the fields. Sure enough it had just stepped over the traps meant for ground birds and hares. The bear had also come by here a day ago. Some of the planting had been nibbled. Perhaps the elk realized they were not in season yet so left. With both an elk and bear coming by Norvus decided he needs a pit trap. At least one, perhaps more. This meant giving up the tracking. He had gotten to see fresh tracks but he hadn’t been able to get even a distant sighting of the elk. He didn’t yet have a trap fence to drive it toward. Its greed for the field though was simple enough to predict. In fact it had circled much around one corner to that is where a pit would go. Just like he had done with the first glutton. Use its own tracks to predict its future movements. For that he was glad to have tracked it thus far. Glad to the raven had lured him in the direction that found the tracks again. Ah, raven helpful though getting a good laugh out of us too.

When the spiked pit trap was done he baited with old fat. That was for the bear to be lured onto it. The elk were already known to be drawn to the fields.

He then laid another spiked pit trap on the opposite, west, side of the fields. It was near where he had made a temporary shelter during the days of fielding. Norvus had kept pushing away from his mind combining the days he had slept in the open during the exhausting fielding with the thought of a bear wandering by.

A roar!

The bear!

He was still preparing the second spiked pit!

It was here!

Turning he couldn’t see it!

Where was it!

<save Norvus roared at>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 22, 2018, 04:23:40 AM
His mind raced for a plan. Surely he couldn’t finish this new pit trap. If he could it was near his temporary shelter spot. A place he had picked to be very defensible as a narrow path between two rows of trees. The other pit trap! It was already done. If he could lure the bear there it could be tricked into the trap. Lure. Lure! That didn’t sound like a good plan. More like slowly back away toward the pit.
His next thought was to drop the extra weight he was carrying. Supplies of carved stakes, wood, branches, spruce and other for making traps. He took several steps back. No further roar. Still no sign of the bear.
Perhaps it had roared in attacking the elk. That could be. The elk had gone west. The bear might also have been stalking the elk. Oh spirits! That meant it had been near Norvus too. Had the Raven’s trick really saved his life? By tricking him on a new path without running into the bear?
Thinking for a moment he slide forward to the supplies. If the bear was fighting the elk he might have the time to make the trap. He picked up only what he needed. He was lifting one foot to quietly move to the second pit.

There the bear.
Quickly he lowered the supplies to the ground!
He dare not drop them for the noise they could make.
Slowly he backed up keeping an eye on the bear’s movements as long as he could.
He couldn’t see the bear anymore.
He turned around so he could move without stepping into his own numerous traps.
Still going quietly he moved on to get beside the first and ready spiked pit trap.

He took a breath. The bear didn’t seem to be following.

Night was deepening.

Night? The digging had taken hours. Yet it  might save his life.

A few minutes of controlling his breathing. The bear appears again. Walking slowly.

“Spear or axe?” Norvus asked himself.

He was better fighting with an axe. Spears were traditional for fighting bears. He chose the spear, for now.

The bear turned again. It seemed to be wandering a little. It was to his north west.

Looking around Norvus figures he can get out of his traps by going south east. He takes a few steps. Branches and bark crinkle. Bits fallen off the firewood during the fielding. Turning back the bear is even closer. Sneaking off won’t work. He slides back to beside the spiked pit trap. His breath is straining to go faster.

The bear’s head turns. Its eyes met his. It’s seen him!

Norvus’s own eyes droop demanding sleep. Not now!

<save Norvus bear noticed>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 22, 2018, 05:05:52 PM
(This is sooooo not the time to be falling asleep)
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 22, 2018, 06:39:20 PM
Norvus changed weapons from holding the spear in two hands to holding his short bow. Its arrow might hit the bear, anger it and trick it into the trap. The bow’s power was more suited to hares and foxes. Even the glutton had been resilient to several arrow hits.

His legs gave out. He fell. The slap on the ground pained him awake. If he fell asleep there was no assurance the bear would enter the pit. It might be able to parade up to its meal of him.

The bear was circling back and forth at a distance. Perhaps standing his ground was making bear rethink its own risk in a fight.

Darkness deepened as the night grew longer. It was getting harder to see the bear.

Norvus thought of the bear’s view. It might be thinking he had been driven off from hunting the elk that was the bear’s real prey. Well that much was true. Norvus wasn’t going to stalk the elk with the bear there!

A few moments without seeing the bear. Nor sound of its roars. Norvus creeps through the gap amid the traps and trees to the south east. Creeping eastward he goes dozens of yards. Then he breaks into a run back to the camp.

Hundreds of yards past as he ran south around the small lake then west to his camp. Finally at the branch marked path he slowed. His quick breath choked him. Adrenaline had carried him here. It was leaving now.

He fell to the earth again. His eyes fluttered in the call for sleep. Staggering he managed back to the shelter within its ring of trees and light traps. Clutching his spear he fell asleep.

Morning came. He was still alive. The spirits here surely had watched over him. To keep his mind off the “Raven’s Day” he continued work on the glutton’s hide.

It was also time he made a shield. It would have to be all wood without the benefit of wooden fittings. Boards fitted by crossbars joined together by dowels. The largest center would be his handle. Looking over his stocks of boards only a few had turned out well. Most were rough. Suitable for planking a house. Wanting decent materials for the shield he split another tree already rolled to his stockpile. The shield making went on past midnight. He had already eaten the last of glutton roast. To partially fill his belly for sleep he ate the last two already made rye flat breads.

In the morning he felt a combination of calm and wary. At first he advanced out of the shelter wielding spear and shield. It was already the afternoon. Hunger was gnawing him. First of his chores was to check and reset the camp traps. No game there.
Aging elk and glutton tracks gave him practice. Having studied these exact tracks before he could note how weather and time changed them. How the grass recovered. How pushed branches were settled back by wind and sun.

Now came the time to check the fields.

Wonderful! An elk stag was wiggling in the one spiked trap pit he had managed to finish. Tracks were all over the place. As the elk bawled in panic he moved to a cluster of tracks on trampled crops. Fresh bear tracks.

He paused. He turned this way and that. No sign of the bear. The only pit he had was now full of the elk. The bear was near.

He moved back to the elk. Could he kill it before the bear came? It would take hours to skin it.

To the north a tree swayed differently from the others. There was the bear. Perhaps twenty paces from him.

This time he was awake. This time he had a shield in one hand and spear in the other. If he gave ground now he would lose the elk. If he won this there would a huge bounty of the two animal’s meat and hide. His lips pushed together. Nostrils flared. He would fight.

<save Norvus elk bear>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 22, 2018, 08:12:43 PM
Norvus circled west to a gap he knew in the perimeter. Turning to wear the bear was seen he stomped his feet with each step. Spear shaft banged against shield. His fur overcoat’s lowers swayed around his legs.

The bear wasn’t there.

He stomped over. He still couldn’t see the bear.

He could figure out its tracks a short distance. The bear had made turns as it left.

A smile came on Norvus’s face. He couldn’t chase the bear. He needed to slay and process that elk. All with a bear roaming nearby.

“Raven you are a funny one.”

The Raven had squaked around the camp while he was making the shield. Norvus liked to think it was a blessing. Perhaps a sign of friendship with the spirits.

Returning to the pit trapped elk he studied it. It was a small bull elk. The trap had made a wound in the thorax. Blood showed but was no longer flowing out the wound. Norvus first thrust at it with his spear, catching it the hindquarters. If he kept stabbing it would leave many holes in the hide. He switched from spear and shield to the woodsman’s axe. Reversing it he swung to land blunt blows. Soon the elk was unconscious. Knife cuts to its neck bleed it. Its weight was heavy as Novus wrestled it out of the pit. He guessed at it being over four hundred and fifty pounds. This was a small elk.

For safety from the bear he reset the pit trap. Wary of the bear he faced north as much as possible during the work to skin the elk. Cutting into the elk he pulled off a length of meat. This he placed out for the spirits. Another he put on the pit trap, hoping to bait the bear.

It seemed wise to finish the second pit trap. This would double the chances of catching that bear. He put a bloody section of elk on the balanced spruce as bait. Beneath sharp spikes awaited their visitor.

It was pleasing to patrol the crops. He had protected them and they were going to feed him. They were growing well in the freshly ash fertilized soil. In the center of fields there was a shallow dell. There he had baited  a fox trap. He decided to set a cooking ring there. Hungry was urging him to eat but his senses to cook the meat still held sway. He cooked a dozen cuts worth to eat over the next few days. Then he returned to butchering the elk.

Amid the processing he ate the roasted elk cuts. He pulled out the backstrap, the tendons that ran along the elk’s spine. He gathered the leg bones and the gut. It was hours of work cutting the animal. The night grew late.

A roar. The bear was back. Glaring at the bear Norvus watched its reaction. The bear moved off again. This bear was looking for an easy meal not a fight.

The unusable portions of the elk were strewn around. Norvus had many cuts of meat. Using the elk’s hide as a giant sack Norvus placed into it the sections of meat and the last of the carcass. He would finish this at the camp. Here in the fields he was leaving two baited spiked pits for the bear to play with. Sheathing his knife Norvus rolled the hefty hide sack of meat onto his back. He shifted the shield to be quick to ready and held his spear as a staff to balance his burdened walking. He trudged to his camp.

His waddle with over three hundred pounds of load was slow. No challenge was made by the bear. At the camp he put the cut off portions into the cool cellar. This would give him time to do things. He figured most of the meat would be traded to an Owl village. He worked through the night to finish the butchering and many hours of cleaning the hide, collecting bones and removing the antlers. The sun rose for dawn with a few hours of work still left. Tanning was begun by rubbing the elk’s own fat into the clean skin. Though it was day he curled up in the shelter to sleep. He slept feeling safe in his camp’s defensive ring.

He awoke in the evening. In friendship he shared an elk spirit with the camp’s spirit. Norvus wondered what the Raven had thought of all of this. It was more work tanning and cooking a few week’s worth of the elk cuts. The rest he would take to a village. The village take would be at least one hundred pounds of meat. Thinking of the elk hide he thought of a cloak, the foot wraps for skis and other fur tasks. So to did he think of many things leather would be needed for. It wasn’t even midsummer so the winter furs could wait. Norvus would soak the elk hide again to dehair it for a large sheet of crafting leather. He set it to soak at the camp’s hideworking station. It would take nearly two weeks of soaking.

Having energy left by evening Norvus swung his axe to gather woods for the construction projects ahead. This also meant a day away from the fields. A day when the bear might stumble into the now two spiked pit traps. Norvus slept with grin while keeping his spear close.

The next day Norvus felled a spruce tree for the stockpile. Then cheerfully he walked for the fields.

There in the same pit trap was the bear!

“Thank you Raven,” said Norvus as he placed out a cut of elk in thanks.

Moans came from the bear. A stake ran from the ground through its right shoulder. Another stake through its left foreleg had been broken free from the ground by the bear’s strength yet the limb could hardly move. A shard of wood stuck out of the bear’s head where likely it was stunk in the skull.

After the thanks Norvus began pounding the bear with backside of his two handed woodsman’s axe. At times when it wasn’t moving he used his knife to stab and cut the throat. It was a tough bear. Finally it passed on through the veil of mist. Struggling to get it out of the pit Norvus guessed it to weigh around five hundred pounds. He moved it a little ways off before repairing and reseting the spiked pit trap.

Raven croaked somewhere to the south.

Norvus grins.

“Indeed my friend. Indeed.”

<Norvus raven croaks at bear kill>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 22, 2018, 10:51:09 PM
Norvus begins the work of processing the bear. Having already begun turning the elk into the leather the tougher warmer bear fur would be kept for winter clothing.

During a break Norvus thought to check the other pit trap. It was still awaiting its visitor. Patrolling the perimeter light traps he found an a struggling hare and an expired mallard. In the trap next to it something black flapped. At first he thought it might be a loon. It was a big raven.

Recognizing his friend Norvus shifted the trap to release its catch. Though wounded Raven was able to take to the skies. He heard Raven croak to the south. It seemed like a thanks.

He carved off much of the bear and skinned the other game. Meat was hauled to the camp then he returned to bring the rest of the carcass to the main camp. To his surprise Raven was again caught in a trap!

“You should be more careful,” said Norvus.

When freed Raven again flee off. He set out another cut here at the camp and tossed a cut into the lake that floated.

When he awoke the next day Norvus felt frightened. Was freeing Raven the wrong thing? Had he insulted the spirit by not eating its offered meat? Had he stumbled in some ritual? Was it because of the meat he tossed at the lake as an offering? Or was it that he had slept next to a bloody bear carcass?

Finishing the butchering Norvus looked at the skull. He remembered the  ritual to put the bear’s skull in a pine tree. He headed back to the fields to do just that. He put in a pine  near where the bear and elk both had left tracks. Hopefully it would be a spot the bear knew so it could start its journey to the spirit world.

 Norvus studied the aging tracks of the bear and elk. He patrolled the field perimeter finding no more game this time. Well enough as between elk and bear there was over 300 pounds of meat in the cellar. It would be hard to even carry that much for trade.

The next day he began his tasks making another offering. He still felt unsteady. Was he offering too much. Thinking again on the floating meat he swam the cold water to collect it. Returning to the shore he gathered branches and burned it as way of apologizing for any mistake he made.

As he went back to the tanning station he heard Raven croak in the east. Norvus nods. It seemed Raven had forgiven him. After working the hides it was still late morning. He decided to carry the one hundred and fifty pounds of elk meat to the Owl village to the east. He arrived around noon.

Norvus was much happier arriving with a huge stock of meat. During the harsh times of fielding he had thought often of coming back here as a starving laborer desperate for food. Now he looked and felt like a survivor. Elen told him old Eljias was having troubles with a reindeer doe. Finding the elder he explains the doe had slipped out of the herd. If he could find it to the northwest they would appreciate it being guided back.

 While there he traded most of the fresh elk for a handaxe. A backup and lighter tool to his own large woodsman’s axe. The handaxe was also good for fighting as axe and shield. He also traded for two more arrows. A lighter form of currency. With about ten pounds of fresh elk left Norvus gifted it freely to one of the villagers. The village had on offer a mighty northern bow but they knew its value perhaps wanting 300 pounds of meat or more for it.

The shaman said that part of the ritual to find the doe is to burn spruce twigs on its recent tracks. Then is magic can bring it back from the invisible world to be guided back to the village.

Norvus left the village going north west. He did keep checking for the doe tracks. He came to area but found no tracks by the time he fell asleep. The next day a black grouse talking woke him. He continued the search. A man was noticed on the mire. Norvus went to approach him. They spoke briefly. Both were looking but neither had seen reindeer tracks. He could trade a shortbow and arrows but these Norvus did not need more of right now. Norvus searched just a little longer before guessing the forest spirits were not accepting him as a searcher. He made back home.

Patrolling the fields found all in order with no game in the traps. The bear’s skull still sat in the pine tree.

Returning to camp he past time felling a few trees. Finally he heard noises. Checking Raven was in another trap. It was now grievously wounded from having gone into three traps. Norvus took this as a sign he should send the suffering bird onto the spirit realm. Perhaps the spirits were mad he had not used the Raven for its intended purpose in the first trap. One day a shaman might be able to figure out more of this. Today Norvus took pity knowing this Raven was sure to get trapped again.

He gave the first cut of Raven back to the spirit world. Norvus felt comfortable with this decision. Perhaps he might again try to find the doe.

The next morning’s work was the hours or stretching the rinsed bear hide. The process of tanning had made it start to shrink and bind. By rubbing it hard over a log made it again move like the skin it once was. It was tiring work taking to the middle of the afternoon. Raven made up the evening meal.

It was now day 5 of the 4th week before midsummer. The elk hide still needed over a week to soften for removing the hair. Today he would take a large amount of bear meat northward, seeking a new Owl clan village. Checking the cellar Norvus saw the meat was starting to go stale. It would be better to cook it up before spending possibly two or more day searching for a village. Certainly if he did not already have the cellar made they would have spoiled. As the roasting was at work a quarter of the bear meat was too far gone. Those portions he put into the kitchen fire. The black smoke rising up to the spirit world. It was still morning when the separating and roasting was done. Norvus departed northward.

Gruelfen village was found and entered in the evening. He traded first for a stack of smoked bear cuts. These would last a long time as a reserve foodstuff. He also traded for a wooden mug, two leather ropes, a cord and ten arrows. The arrows as many know make a good portable trade item. They did offer an impressive northern knife and a mighty northern bow beyond Norvus’s value in trade goods.

<Norvus Owl trades>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 23, 2018, 03:15:34 AM

“…that’s when I found the bear was in the pit,” said Norvus.

He spent the evening telling the Gruelfen villagers of how he got the bear meat. The two shamans of the village debated about Raven and his tricks.

Norvus asked them about how the smoke the meat. He had seen it done of course. He wanted a reminder. Traded roasted for smoke was about two and half to one. If he really wanted to make good on the meats he needed to set up a smoker house.

The next morning Norvus prepared to leave. He wandered in a circle around the village at a distance. He hoped to spot mountains. Bogs near them collect iron pooled into bog ore. If he was going to smith he needed a source of ore.

He marched much farther north hoping to sight the mountains. Amid a distant mire he closed on reindeer. Steady and true his arrow flew striking a reindeer. It struck hard off the reindeer’s face making it stumble to the ground. Yet it burst to its feet before he could get close. The herd shuffled this way and that in their confusing runs.

For what seemed like an hour he pursued the herd. Sometimes running, mostly walking and taking a few missed shots. The one he first it was likely the alpha male. The female reindeer and a calf kept circling back to him. It was so strong though that the wound didn’t seem to tire him. It was a long chase before a reindeer was trapped in clump on the mire. One arrow hit but three more missed. The reindeer was now staggering with a wounded leg and exhausted. Switching to his spear Norvus moved in closer. His first thrust missed. The second struck right into the heart. It dropped at his feet. After skinning and butchering Norvus recovered two of his missed arrows. That meant only one arrow was lost in this hunt.

Out in the mires he processed the reindeer. Even taking two nights to tan the hide. He would take the now roasted meat farther north to try to find Owl and mountains.

At noon he found the mountains and a cave at Birchpoint. On the peak stonecrop flowers grew. He picked young leaves as the first to finally be in his medicine bundle. With a newly made torch Norvus explored the cave. It was smaller than most. A single wall and door would seal the entrance. The challenges here were two fold. First you always had a steep climb to go up and down the entrance. The second was how it was surrounded by mires with sparse trees. There wouldn’t be much wood for smithing. Norvus continued his searching.

At Paskonuppi (”Shitty Point”, really that is the translation) he found another cave. One door could seal off the cave or another door could seal off an almost unreachable chamber farther in. Since this would cause little delay Norvus decided to setup a door for the inner chamber. The slopes were abundant with blueberry bushes growing their tasty fruit.

Unfortunately the reindeer meat has spoiled. It was nauseating to eat though one could manage it. It was useless for trade.

Amid “Whirl Mountain” he found a most secluded hill behind a hill. Only be standing on the mountains around the second hill or on the first hill could you see this hidden spot. Still eating the rotting reindeer he set down a shelter in this spot.

He finally got back to camp. Sadly the soaking elk hide to become leather had rotted. It wasn’t the homecoming he wanted. He guessed he arrived a day later than planned.

A swim in the now warm lake lifted his mood. He had succeeded in finding places to seek ore. A question on his mind was whether to go live at Paskonuppi’s cave or make his stead here. The cave was three days journey away. One thing he had learned was he needed a place to smoke meat.

<Norvus returned 001>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 24, 2018, 01:05:06 AM
It was now Hay month. Midsummer was less than two weeks away. Norvus could do his chores of reseting traps, patrolling the camp, patrolling the fields and felling trees. The most important task now seemed to be to have a shelter with winter that could also be used to smoke meat. If he built one here and adapted Paskonuppi’s cave he would have a wide range for winter hunting. Three days across between them plus perhaps an extra day north or south. As a luxury he could cook at the fields and turn over the cooking fires ash into the soil for another space for next year’s crops. He could also fill in gaps at the field’s perimeter with fencing.

A wife would prefer a stead over a cave. A wife would want a smoke house separate from the living house. (Thanks to Privateer for these ideas).

In his youth he had worked with his family and kin on steads. He had seen a house go up. There was also talk of a simple building. A mix of piled trees and boards. A chimney in the middle. A room on each side. This would give a place to smoke and a place to sleep. Rocks and stones control how much heat, air in and smoke out flows. The sleeping area could also be a sauna. He figured on needing 36 felled trees and perhaps a half dozen trees split into boards. His stockpile right now had six spruce and one birch tree felled. Later he could make a family sized dwelling.

Practicing swimming in the warm summer water was relaxing on the days he did it. Practice was also to be done by checking the fading animal tracks and steadying his walk to be quiet.

As he sat in the evening fishing it came to mind he should put at least one trap for large beasts like a pit trap or three-log bear trap. As this was near his home the pit should be without spikes just in case a friend or himself went in. The three-log bear trap was obvious to people to avoid. Each though represented a day’s work or more.

It was perhaps a week later when he woke to a frightening forest. Something was troubling the world. Had it been all the felling he was doing to make a stead? Was there a ritual to ease the tree spirits? If there was he didn’t know it. His mind thought of this while doing chores. Perhaps he should see a shaman. He should take some trade goods. Sitting in his shelter he used damaged furs to make foot covers and legging. They didn’t seem good enough to sell and he would have need of them come winter. He did have extra arrows so he gathered those.

It was in the late evening when he strolled between two legs. He thought he glimpsed something. His mind was on seeing on the shaman but he felt he should go back to check. It was a Nerjpez. Indeed they did come this far north.

<save Norvus 2nd Nerjpez>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 24, 2018, 01:44:42 AM
Was this why the forest was upset? Or was the upset forest drawing the enemy foreigner to him?

Ideally Norvus should go dress in all his furs as what armor he could. It was late though. If he went to the camp, leaving a trail, and came back the Nerjpez might be gone. This was also on the way to the Owl village. They might also be at risk. Armed with shield and spear Norvus advanced on the red clad foe.

The two soon to be combatants looked each other over. The enemy seemed a warrior with a fur over coat showing a leather cuirass and the ends of leather arm guards. He held a spear in two hands, had a knife in his belt but is lacking in shield and bow.  Norvus has his spear and shield in hand. A woodsman’s axe and hatchet are at his disposal. He has his shortbow and numerous arrows. He didn’t have much in the way of armor though. He was dressed for summer chores.

As they stood there Norvus leaned his spear against a tree. A strange word was shouted at him. The red shirted Nerjpez, the red foe, had realized what it meant. Tucking the shield behind Norvus smoothly took out his bow. Norvus gave a stern look down his nose as he notched his first arrow.

The two shifted positions. The red foe got behind a spruce. Norvus stepped back, still with his arrow nocked with a half pull on the bowstring. There was a risk the red foe might circle through spruces to close the distance. Novus stepped sideways toward a clearer area. The red foe had a distance to come down a clear way.

Brave or fearful of continued shooting the red foe ran. A snarling phrase in the unknown tongue given. White knuckles around the spear leveled at heart height.

Norvus pulled the string full and let loose. To the left the arrow flew catching amid the spruce.

A strange calm was over Norvus. He felt it once before. When he had made the decision to fight the bear for the elk. Norvus felt like a ghost. Half in the spirit realm and half here. There was no malice as smoothly his hand  put another arrow to nock, drew and let loose.

The arrow flew to the right of the red foe. The warrior’s lips and nose curled in a war cry.

Calm with an intent of death the third arrow was put to string. This would be the last to be sent before it became a melee. A melee of armor and spear versus shield and spear. Norvus’s eyes flickered as drawn bow string sung out in release.

Red foe leaned forward in his run. Gaining in speed. A charge spear. Leaning farther into a stumble. A face plant skidding on the grass. The red foe’s spear sliding unheld along the grass. The spear slowed before Norvus’s feet.

Norvus tilted his head to study the red foe.

No chest heaved in breath. No limb moved for battle.

The third arrow’s feathers protruded from the front of red foe’s neck. Arrow point extended from the back. Red foe had died in an instant.

Norvus breathed in and out. In and out. Left hand still held the bow before him. Right hand was half raised hovering over the arrow quiver. It awaited the command to nock again.

How long he stood like that he didn’t know. As if had to decide the death was real. A human spirit, even a red foe, had just crossed into the invisible world.

Finally he looked away. Storing his bow he leaned down to pick up the spear. He moved forward to strip the foe of armor and gear. Then to gather the two arrows in the spruce.

To ease the foes journey spruce twigs where gathered. The spruce next to where the red foe had face planted in the ground was felled. The now naked red foe was laid across the log. The spruce twigs lain over the fallen as a blanket. Norvus lit the fire which grew in brilliance. It was a smoky fire. Good for guiding a spirit. As if in answer rain began to fall.

<Norvus 2nd Nerj slain>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 24, 2018, 04:01:16 AM

Delayed bye the encounter it was after midnight when Norvus entered the Owl village of “Flower Wild”.

Hailing a villager Norvus explained the encounter. Warning of Nerjpez activity.

“This is a dangerous day,” said the villager. “We have a wounded adventurer here. Grievously bitten while in the forest.”

“Let me see what I can do for him,” offered Norvus.

Norvus wondered if the spirits were mad at everyone not just him. It turns out no one ever found that lost reindeer doe. Norvus entered their main kota. The kota being leather hides stretched over poles angled in. A structure warm enough though less than wood walls. The benefit being it could be taken down to be hauled to new grazing grounds when the Owl’s herd needed new grazing land.

The adventurer Doaivvot explained after making a shelter he had fought with a bear. Wounded and fearing for the bear he had staggered to the village leaving his family’s northern spear behind. Recalling his own plight with a bear Norvus agreed to search for the spear, in the morning.

For provisions Norvus traded left over furs from his making the recent leggings and footwear. The villagers roast was delicious. Norvus slept in the same tent as Doaivvot to help keep an eye on the recovery.

In the morning Norvus waved to his various friends among the “Flower Wild”.

Hiking past a few lakes he was surprised by what he saw. Hurrying closer he had found a grove. It wasn’t Doaivvot’s shelter. Norvus didn’t there would be any so far north. This meant new plants perhaps even nettles to turn into threads for clothing. Bandages also could be made that way. At least now he had a piece of the red foe’s clothing he might use. He laughed because he wasn’t sure if what the tall grasses he was gathering were. At least there was a large supply of Alder and Rowan. Those had barks and sap good for tanning.

He nibbled on the grasses leaves. A pity he wasn’t more like his sister. She knew well the different herbs, grasses and mushrooms of the forest. For Norvus he refused to even carry mushrooms he didn’t know. A single poisonous bite could end your journey in this realm.

He searched the rest of the hours he could. At night he made a shelter  next to a large lake. The loop snares long kept in his pouch were set around the pocket amid the spruce he had chosen. He left out a portion of the Owl’s roast for the local spirit. Then he slept.

The next day he gathered the snares and resumed the search. It was on this day he found a wandering reindeer doe. If it was the same one missing from “Flower Wild” it was far from where they had first said it to be. Just in case he gathered the spruce and set it alight as they had told him to do. Though the lone doe was often near it never followed him. Norvus decided to leave it in peace.

He slept again then resumed the search. This was proving difficult. At least the crowberries were now in season. It was also a sign of the advancing time toward winter. He kept a very close watch as he patrolled the joint of spruce mire and pine mire like Doaivvot had mentioned.

It was in the evening on this day he found a blood trail. Very like Doaivvot’s. Norvus nocked an arrow. After all there had been a bear in Doaivvot’s tale. He explored it a short distance then thought to trail maker of branches.

That is when the fever started. He had tasted different herbs including an unfamiliar one from the mire. He dumped the rest of the mire plant samples to be safe.

A hour or so later in the darkening evening he spotted the shelter. Sure enough the spear was there. A water skin, cord and food had been left behind. Fresh bear tracks were just to the south. Norvus decided against fighting it. He moved off, ran for a while then resumed walking back to the village.

His fever was growing hotter. At the village he sought at Ravdnar the shaman. The shaman gave Norvus a bitter tasting leaf to chew and swallow.

Daivvot was still healing in the large kota tent. There was a moment of joy on seeing the northern spear returned. Norvus smiled then passed out in feverish shakes.

When he awoke the fever was gone.

Norvus bartered with Heandark. The spear and shoes from the red foe where traded for their northern bow. The laminate of woods graced with perch skin yield a powerful draw. Arrows would fly much faster from this than his simple shortbow.

<Norvus northern bow>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 24, 2018, 09:39:04 PM
Pondering the work ahead it sure would be great if he had help. A part of him wanted the pride of doing it himself. A wiser part said to get help before the snows came. Norvus looks over the villagers. The one he was just trading has a hand axe of his own. Heandarak was about to leave. Norvus gestures with his right hand to get Heandarak’s attention.

Heandarak asked, “I see you are a better this morning. What did the shaman give you?”

“I don’t know,” said Norvus, “It tasted awful and it worked.”

Heandark laughed, “Sounds familiar.”

“I could use some help now. Its not far to my camp. I need trees felled to stock pile for making my first building before winter. Being summer we are between the planting and the harvest. Now is a good time to do work.”

“We don’t really grow crops here. We do graze our Reindeer. The can graze here a while yet. You showed a good spirit helping Daivvot. Yes, I will come. You will feed me during the work?”

Norvus agreed handing over some of the Owl villages own roast and smoked bear meat.

On the way back to camp Norvus showed Heandarak where the fight with the red foe had been.

“Uggg,” said Heandarak, “You mean him?”

Norvus looked. The red foe hadn’t burned away in the tree fire. It was burnt and now bloating with rot. Norvus felt a little woozy.

“We shouldn’t leave it like that,” said Heandarak.

Norvus consented and they set about making a better bonfire. Now three trees were piled around the swollen burned red foe. A fire was started and left to burn.

The two went back to the camp. Norvus stored his short bow as a spare to the laminated northern bow he now carried. All seemed in order at the camp. Having been gone for days Norvus also led them to the fields. Heandarak was surprised at them.

“I didn’t expect someone to try this,” said Heandarak.

Heandarak brushed his hands on the growing rye and hemp. Like a patchwork quilt the fields were growing in clumps based on what strips Norvus had ashed and turned when. Peas, turnips and the rest greeted the eyes.

“They are growing,” replied Norvus, “Though I am not sure if it would feed a family it will certainly make my winter better. Let me show where I caught an elk and drove off the bear. I should show you the other pit trap. There are a few paths to safely move between the fields.”

Heandarak followed Norvus as carefully as a second hunter stalking game.

The ground was still mottled with many tracks. Heandarak knelt down studying them.

“Your story is true.”

With the fields patrolled they returned to the camp and began felling trees. A swan swimming on the lake watched them as they followed the coast.

The worked late the night. A camp trap went off snapping down on a small hare. Heandarak felled trees while Norvus shaped them into logs suitable for a cabin. When they cooked the hare Norvus used the ash to show how the fields had been made, by turning together soil and ash.

“It is too late in the year to plant now,” said Norvus, “Next spring is when I can use this spot.”

Heandarak added, “In a way the ash is like giving wood back to the earth. In a way to make different plants grow.”

“That’s right.”

They went back to work. They chatted at moments about people they knew in their different homelands. Come night the tanning of the hare hide had finished. It was a fine piece of work. Norvus had gotten much better in both crushing skulls with the butt of his spear and in treating the hides. This hide he gave to Heandarak as a gift.

Before going to sleep Norvus reset all the camp’s traps. He thought about doing that at the field but with so many there that would take half a day. Heandarak asked about the traps. He was especially curious of the large trap that had caught the two gluttons.

The next morning they got right back to work. Heandarak was felling trees almost three times faster than it took to smooth them to be cabin logs. The stocks where growing larger and larger. Norvus began to entertain the thought of building more than a minimum building. Though it might still be necessary to stay small for this year’s building.

Come afternoon Norvus was getting tired. Heandarak too. They strolled to the fields. This was a good time to do the lighter chore of reseting the field’s traps. They only did a half dozen, including the successful pit trap, before returning to their chopping. Heandarak could only stay a few more days. Norvus only had a few days more food in stock. It seemed to work out evenly.

Work and work they did. During the next day Heandarak called out.

“You know we are past midsummer? Winter is coming.”

Norvus paused. That meant they were counting toward winter season. A greater sense of urgency came over him.

Heandarak continued, “With all these logging you are sure to have a nice home before the first snows. I’m sure to tell my kinfolk all about these days. The trees, the logging, the fields, the traps but I can’t stay to see you build the stead.”

Norvus said, “I am glad for all your help. It really has changed my outlook for my first winter in the north. I’ve been thinking of the area we cleared. I might make it into an animal pen.”

“Reindeer?” Heandarak said before laughing.

“Perhaps. At least a run for dogs. I was thinking of other southern animals. Reindeer might do better here though.”

“I’d like to see them when you have them,” said Heandarak.

“You would be most welcome.”

Their axes took back to pounding on the trees. It was good to have another human with him. Someone to converse with. Soon Norvus would be back to the lonely life of his quest.

Later in the day, while rain was coming down, Heandarak bought up the matter of payment for his services. The gifted hare fur he would count toward it. Checking his stocks Norvus selected a second hare fur. Heandarak agreed that together they were fair payment.

The next day was the morning Heandarak left. There was quite a lot of trees still be cleaned into logs. Certainly enough for more than a minimum first shelter.

Norvus selected another lowering in the ground. It was smaller than the one he planned for the main house. This first building would be split in two as planned. Just that each side could be a bit larger now. A smoke on one side while the other would be a sauna and first winter shelter.

Food for himself was getting low. At least in terms of meats. Some berries were already in season. Norvus decided to do a gather while watching for tracks. Clasping the northern bow in his hand he grinned at the thought of getting to unleash its might.

<Norvus Heandarak logging>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 25, 2018, 03:20:30 AM
During his search for Doiavot’s spear Norvus recalled the crow berries were in season. Those grew in mires. The pine mire a few hundred yards to the south east did indeed have a harvest of crow berries waiting.
As he had been taught he always left a few for the forest. For the shamans it showed an agreement with the spirits. For the hunters it left something to lure in game. Reminded of his uneasy times with the camp spirit amid the tree felling Norvus paused to make a ritual offering of crow berries.
By the time he returned to the camp he figured on sixteen pounds of berries. He would split his diet between them and the bit of meat he had left. That is pending any other game to come to his traps or tracks to be seen. Fishing will also extend his food supplies.

On Day 5 of the 13th week before midwinter in Hay month Norvus began to erect his first wall section.

It was hard work alone. Of his two axes neither was a carving axe nor a broad axe. It was those types that were best shaped to do this work efficiently. That small handaxe proved to be worth its weight at doing finer placements than the woodsman’s axe. By the afternoon the first section was mounted with Norvus too tired to start another.

He had also used a rest break to finish reseting the field’s trap protection. The traps had weathered their days without care well. Repairs or replacements were done here and there. He could leave it for a longer period of time between care. A part of Norvus hoped to lay a trap line before winter. It soothed him to think that the field’s near circle of traps was effectively a trap line.

Amidst these days he finally committed to slicing the red foe’s linen pants. The strips Norvus fashioned into bandages. It was so far the only cloth, other than the clothes he left home in, he had. Well perhaps he could tear up the bags that had held seeds. He would need containers come the harvest. An extra pair of pants he could manage without a while longer.

All the while the swan, or swans, were honking around the lakes. It seems they had replaced Raven as the spirit watchers. Norvus never made any attempt at a swan. Something just didn’t feel right about hunting them. They seemed to be friendly or at least neighborly.

Day 1 of the 12th week before winter season the first of the turnips came up. These were the first clumps planted amid the camp. The next day he would check the fields again. A few of the turnips were ready. Everything was growing fine. Another grouse had waddled into a perimeter trap. There didn’t seem to be large animals grazing on the fields. This part of his homestead seemed to be going smoothly.

Norvus rubbed one shoulder then the other. Was it six weeks of fielding he had done. It was a cruel chore with unsteady food. Now the bounty would be coming in for years with just light chores and patrols. He also had to remember to gather some not for food but to gather seeds from.

In a week and a half the framing outline was coming together. Norvus had decided to make the sauna, and sleeping, section properly of fully logged walls. He seemed to have the time before winter for this. It would make it safer against attackers, mostly Nerjpez red foes that might come up in the night. The meat had also run out. Fishing was spotty. Some days all he had to eat was turnips and crow berries. His body was feeling improperly fed now even when he did get a spot of fish or bird meat. The progress of the work though was worth the suffering.

<Norvus stead halfway>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 25, 2018, 04:19:12 PM

Again at work Norvus was happy to have grouse and fish today. Patrolling the garden left his burdened by all the turnips pulled for eating and harvesting of seeds.

He thought of Heandarak, the Owl village who had felled trees for the stead. Norvus’s quest was to bring iron to the north. Could he not also bring them crops? The cellar could easily spare a hundred pounds of turnips. There was several hundred more pounds of the bulbs stored already. Being alone Norvus didn’t need that much did he? Not with other crops growing well. Heandarak and his kin would surely enjoy the turnip in their meals for the variety if nothing else. It would also show Heandarak the result of the fielding. A part of Norvus just wanted to get rid of some of the turnips he’d been gnawing on anyway.

At the village the trading went well. It was agreed at a little more than 2 turnips per cut of meat. Much of the meat was preserved already. Norvus had a good supply to eat, along with more turnips, to finish the first building. The villagers began chattering of making a stew. This reminded Norvus he still had no cooking pot. That would have to come later. For now Dougi had said Andde needed help with chores. Considering how helpful the village of Flower Wild had been Norvus felt bonded to help.

Andde was soon found. It was a simple chore of gathering smaller woods like branches for kindling. With his woodsman axe, hand axe, broad knife and a knife from the red foe’s belt Norvus chuckled.

“Oh we will find some way to manage.”

Soon it was done. The payment was agreed on five arrows. Those easily carried bartering goods that could also get came.

Norvus decided to head back likely to return to camp the same day he left. For some reason he felt like taking a different route. Using a narrow path between lakes he normally skirted around as if they were one large one. That’s when he saw another red foe to the south.

He took out that powerful laminated northern bow. His right hand patted his quiver. Those new arrows might get some exercise already!

<Norvus 3rd Nerjpez>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 26, 2018, 02:27:35 AM
Norvus hopped along the land bridge between the lakes. As he circled closer he lost sight of the red foe. He had a good idea of where to start searching for tracks. Then farther south east he saw other people moving. Their clothing was different making them likely to be traders. Had the red foe been setting an ambush?

Golden sun was lowering to the tops of trees. It was early evening.

Norvus ran a hub and wheel search. Wheels run at different radius of his guess failed to find red foe’s tracks.

He searched the area wider now. A mountain poked out of the trees. Norvus went up. Turning around he had a wide view. There was spruce mire near the slopes. To a smith to be this is a wonderful thing. It is in such places that bog iron form. This was less than half a day from his camp!

Though he couldn’t spot the red foe nor trader Norvus was happy for the diversion. The mountain provided many good stones. It would be a great spot for hunting as well.

Arriving home at night Norvus offered one of the Flower Wild village meat cuts to the spirit. This was done as if to tell the spirit of the short journey. Norvus spoke his tale out loud. Gathering turnips from the cellar to balance the meat meals he slept peacefully.

Into early Harvest month the routine was going well. Part of the roof was raised over the north end of the building. Now wood preparation could be done standing up under the high roof free from the rain. The meals of turnip and meat was nurturing.

It came to day 4 of the 10th week before winter. The meats were again almost depleted. He would have to do something about that soon.

He had been debating how to plot out the interior. The sauna and sleeping area would have a door to outside on the east end. Near it was now a window shutter so one could see the weather without opening the door. At the entrance would be an inner door to the southern smoking side.

Norvus wanted the west end of the sleeping sauna to be well protected. He had debated back and forth on where to put the fireplace and chimney. On the west end or in the center. He had decided on the center so that a solid trunk wall would be the southern side of the sleeping bunk. If he was attacked by many foes he could make his stand there with them coming only one at a time. A center chimney would more evenly heat the building. The other way around would put the fireplace very close to the sleeping area perhaps more prone to mishap. However that would make the center solid logs and a better roof support. His decision had favored defense in battle.

Beginning his hunt Norvus visited the fields. Patrolling before heading out he pulled up turnips to sustain himself in the search. He went to the nearby hill spotting no game. Marching to the mountain the south likewise spotted nothing from the high point. Exploring east he passed his favorite village of Flower Wild. He slept in one of the shelter’s made during the search for Dioavot’s axe. The next day amid the mire he spotted a reindeer in the distance. He searched the area and found tracks. The tracks weren’t off reindeer. They were fresh bear tracks. Perhaps the man mauler that had wounded Dioavot. Putting an arrow on his bowstring but not pulling hard he began his hunt with quiet foot steps.

Following the bear tracks led mushrooms. Norvus recalled them as bear paws. The dangerous poison that had to be boiled to be eaten. This was the kind Norvus didn’t even want to carry. One hungry confused day one could eat them by mistake. No, he would not carry such poisonous food. The bear tracks led by blue berry bushes not yet ripe. Perhaps the bear had been testing or sniffing them for ripeness. Then came reindeer tracks. Once again Norvus was hunting the same game as a bear.

He paused to consider his gear. He had a laminated northern bow, arrows, rough wooden shield held by pegs not nails, spear, axes with steel heads, knives, fair clothing, tattered red foe leather torso and forearm armor  but was without the extra protection of a fur overcoat. Overall he felt he contest with this bear, largely due to his new bow from his friends at Flower Wild.

Grandfather’s voice echoed in his head, “The ambitious hunter can become the dead hunter.”

Would Heandarak want to join him? Perhaps. Norvus broke off branches sticking them into the ground to mark a portion of the trail.

Withdrawing to Forest Wild Norvus first spoke with Riggu. Riggu had said during fireside chats he was up for adventures. Today Riggu complained of needing a bow or sword as well as food. Norvus didn’t have spares of those on him. Next was Heandarak who was too busy to come though they did barter foodstuffs, Norvus getting a bit of much needed meat. There was also the woodsman Andde who was too busy working with Heandarak. As a frustrated gesture Norvuss asked The woman Ada just flatly refused. Hanno the shaman likewise refused.
Norvus thought about his spare short bow back at camp. That could equip Riggu. However, Norvus felt up to the challenge and made his way back to the trail.

He soon found his trail marker. The tracks were still fresh enough to be easy to follow, for now.

In amongst spruce the trails twisted. Soon the bear seemed to have given up his chase. Norvus was now following the reindeer herd. It was a herd for certain. The stepping was to wide to be just one. In the afternoon he got to be eyes on the herd. A half dozen adults and four calves. Some were even sleeping. There was no way to hide on the sparse pine mire.

His first arrow went to high. The herd began to run. Two adults had gone west while the main herd south east. Norvus knew a technique. He would try to position himself between the strays and the main herd. The strays in trying to get back might get closer. At least he could drive them to the point they were in among spruce. Then Norvus crouched and stepped quietly hoping those strays would do as he hoped. Spying only a calf he held off shooting. The technique didn’t work this time but that is the way with hunting. Norvus returned to the mire and soon had the herd’s trail again.

Now he discovered fresh bear tracks. Once again it was two predators stalking one herd.

The reindeer trail was quite confusing. They had double backed over there steps from a half day ago. It was the confounding sort of thing Grandfather used to speak of.

Finding the herd again Norvus tried to maneuver for advantage. They were quite alert. As one bolted out from spruce trees he loosed an arrow but had misjudged the reindeer’s speed. At least on sparse pine mire he was able to recover that arrow.

Norvus skirted in and out other spruce trees on the edge of the mire. He came out only to keep an eye on the herd. Going in he moved quietly. Over an hour of chase had gone by when he noticed a distant reindeer turned back toward him. Perhaps they were reversing their trail. Perhaps it was looking for a calf.

Norvus became still with the spruce branches brushing against him. The reindeer was jogging toward him. Calming his breathing he raised the bow. He drew back the drawstring breathing in measure like grandfather had taught him. The reindeer came closer.  At nine yards he loosed aiming for the legs. The arrow missed. The reindeer turned to flee. Norvus nocked again and fired for another miss.

Norvus took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He repeated this before going to search for his arrows. Hunting was about patience. Patience and aim.

“With patience you can aim again,” said Norvus repeated words from his grandfather.

Norvus only recovered one of the arrows. He was now down two since he started hunting today.

Even the lone reindeer was doubling back on its trail. The confusion cost Norvus much time.

As the day came to evening he made for Doiavot’s old shelter. The materials were good but there was no way Novrus would sleep in such an exposed position. A little scouting and Novrus reassembled the shelter in a place where he needed only to put two loop snares for warning alarms. He slept and awoke safely in the morning.

Over an hour of the morning was spent looking for tracks using the hub and wheel method. He couldn’t spot any fresh tracks. Only those now a day old were discovered. Fishing until noon pulled in a few. Enough to keep going and of course over a small one back to the lake. While the fish cooked Norvus indulged in a little swimming. He had improved slightly but given how poorly he swam before it was still quite clumsy. Once the fish was cooked Norvus accepted the hunt had failed. That is the way with hunting. Sometimes you don’t make a catch. He made his way home feeling confident departing now was the right thing to do.

As he trudged westward suddenly voices called out.

“What tribe!” they demanded.

“Reemi” said Norvus. He was already pulling an arrow out of his quiver.

Two men rose from their hiding spots.

“Friend,” their leader said, “Traders. Gerbrand.”

In broken tongue they explained they were wary of Nerjpez in the area. Norvus agreed at least one had escaped him. These traders wanted good furs for their goods. Alas Norvus was on a hunting expedition and had no trade furs with him. They sat to eat together then parted ways.

Returning to fields and camp Norvus gathered more turnips and the first of the wild blueberry bushes were now in season. At least with the fish his health had improved. Yet there was more. An arctic fox was stuck in one of the lever traps of the camp perimeter. It must have been on the way to the near by fox-paw board with its smelly meat bait when it stepped into the ground level lever trap.

The next day, Day 1 of the 9th week before winter, Norvus returned to building. He realized he was wrong about his interior layout. He needed a wall to brace the east door. The fireplace would have to later be built next to the sleeping bunk.

As he worked he struggled with balancing his diet. Berries and turnips made the bulk with only a bit of meat now and then. He felt joy when digging out turnips from the cellar he found a trio of dried cuts. He had forgotten they had been placed in there for emergencies. Now seemed as good a time as any.

He also scared a black grouse out of the building construction. It must be a nice place to live if the neighbors were already visiting!

Day 5 of the 9th week to winter season the sleeping and sauna portion of the building was done. The corridor sleeping chamber had a sleeping bunk in the west with access to the double facing fireplace. Under the bunk was storage for valuables like spare weapons. There was a small place to stand or work in the middle. The east portion of the corridor has the shutter north, door outside east and the door to the smoke room south. In the east portion Norvus rigged a small trap as a guard and noisemaker against intrusion.

Stacking kindling, a board and other wood into the fire Norvus heated the fireplace for the first time. He made a good sized fire. He wanted to watch how the rocks might shift, if at all. Stones on both sides would we adjusted to control the air flow in and smoke flow out. The goal being that when wanted smoke would flow into the south portion of the building to preserve meat.

The south side still needed more logs or panel boards. The floor and roof for the building was already in place.

Norvus sacrificed one of his precious cuts of meat to invite good spirits into the house.

Tonight Norvus would sleep inside his own walls.

<Norvus sleep indoors>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 26, 2018, 04:14:37 AM
Day 6 of the 9th day before winter season. Norvus’s eyes peeled open to awake. The bear fur beneath him was mounted with other furs as pillows for his head and knees. His overcoat and the mangled red foe overcoat lay on top. There were no uneven bits of ground nor poke of spruce needles. There was thin cracks of light at the shutter. Warm stones of the chimney still lingered with warmth.

Peering his eyes along the only avenue of approach his eyes feel on the enlarged trap he had set. Before going to sleep he had upgraded to do a little more damage to a human intruder. Both the door outside and to the smoking room was closed. Two strides by six strides was all he had to scan for danger.

His spear was leaning upright against fireplace stones. His bow and quiver hanging in easy reach from pegs. Other pegs braced both sides of the handles of his two handed axe and his handaxe. The wooden pegged roundshield lay against the wall. If he had to fight he was a fortress in here.

Rising to meet the day he gathered his gear and weapons.

Hunger was gnawing. In last night’s celebration he had eaten the last of his meat. Breakfast was turnips and blueberries. A little fishing would go a long way to making the deal feel as wonderful as it should.

Stepping out he paused. He now had to remember to close the door!

Norvus laughed over and over before closing the door.

By noon he had a catch of fish. Today’s chimney test would start a fire from the smoker side. As it lit he studied the stones from last nights larger fire. Here and there he tapped a few in though they needed little adjustment. The smoker side was breezy as it had the openings in the wall awaiting door boards or logs to fill in.

Day 7 of the 9th week before winter season he awoke with comfortable breeze on his face. It flowed over him like a mother’s hand caressing her child’s cheek. An accepting love flowed in that breeze. It seems the spirits were pleased with Norvus. This is a good omen for his stead.


Yes he could truly call it a stead now. It was more than a camp. A building, roof, fireplace, chimney, fields, traps and friendly neighbors. A blessing breeze from the spirits affirming the acceptance of the homestead.

Waking Norvus leaned on his south wall as he walk. It was now he realized he could slip into, or out of, the south door without striking the trap. His eyes widened at his mistake. Then settling he realized it had been discovered in time. Perhaps the house spirit had inspired him to lean on the wall like that. It took a bit of time but now the defending trap was closer to the sleeping bunk. Truly an enemy would have to trip it or tamper with it to get at Norvus while he slept.

A patrol of the fields showed it would be a few days before the start of the next crops became ripe. Then a few more days for more. Others were weeks away but wintered seemed even farther away than that. The harvest should be safe. Norvus decided to spend those days giving the smoker side a proper southern wall. There still be two doors, one on the west and the other on the east, so that when needed they could both be opened to air the room out.

After more work Norvus finally gave himself a treat. He took off his clothes and put water onto the hot chimney rocks. The water hissed into steam filling the small room. As planned this wasn’t just a place to sleep but a sauna as well.

There was something else to be done for the building. Gathering flour he had made before Norvus baked his first batch of flat breads. This was proof the fireplace was good for cooking too.

The next few days fish were the meat to the turnip, blue berry and last of the rye breads. The smoker south wall was coming along. Norvus set traps out the west door of the smoker. It only needed to open to air it out.

It troubled Norvus that he had that strong trap so close to the bed. If he removed the east door of the smoker for thick logs and the traps out the west smoker door the trap could be moved outside the east sleeping door. To air the smoker out would mean opening the separating door. Winds could blow from the west smoker door out, or in, the east sleeping door. It wasn’t ideal for airing but it seemed much safer for sleeping. That meant more logging work. With the harvest and berries coming in Norvus felt he could manage this. So much for a low material log and panel build. Soon there would only be the panels for the two doors instead of the original eight.

As he worked Norvus realized when he built the smoker’s replacement east wall he could put a shuttered window in it. That would be more convenient for the airing than exposing the sleeping area.

Day 6 of the 8th week before winter season. The building was now done in its final form. From north to south and west to east it was comprised of:
The sleeping bunk, work space, pathway space with north window and east door;
Fireplace faced for north and south, the center support wall, the separating interior door;
West door and wood stock pile, cooking space, extra space with east window.

Strong traps were set outside the west door while a lighter trap was, for now, the guarding of the east door. The southern corridor would be used for smoking meat. He still needed a stock of cordage for that. Well stocked he could withstand the worst winter storms inside.

<Norvus building done>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 27, 2018, 03:00:26 AM
It was noon on day 6 of the 8th week before winter. Norvus would needed cordage to hang meat in the smoke house. Considering his options there were many. Good cord, or string, like leather was needed for a bow or laces in clothing. Parts of trees could be made into the crude cordage that is quite capable of hanging meat in the smoke house.

Birch trees were in good number around the stead. He still smiled thinking of it as a proper homestead. Norvus tested his skills with the birch. Peeling strands off he wove the strands to get a feel them. He made a small box. This was also going to be needed for so many chores related to turning crops into food and storing seeds. Next he played with the peel birch into fiber like strands then wove them together in a braid.  To test its strength he tied a rock to it and found he could twirl the rock with it. This cord would do for hanging meat.

The next day he desired to make more birch bark cords. Alas, the needs of diet. He had finished the last of the fish he had. There was still turnips and berries where still in season. Checking the fields a few more peas were ready, the crops were safe and he did maintenance on the pit traps.

Norvus was still working hard over the next days. His body was aching at times from a lack of meat. Again were days with only turnip and berries to eat.

To the west at the tiniest land bridge between the lakes he made a trap fence. With the spot so narrow it needed just a single pit trap. This he left without stakes in case it should be some time between patrolling it. Trap fence meshing and the existing trees would guide a large animal to the path for the pit. On the sides more fencing and light traps to catch small game or wound animals that might wade past in the waters. Once the lakes froze this trap fence would be of little use. It was still fall so still chances to catch game this season. Turnips, those bland hated and beloved foodstuff, were put out as bait. He even left one out as gift to the spirits.

“Please spirits, transform these turnips into meat.”

He returned to camp. Tree trunks remaining from Heandarak’s fellings Norvus moved a few each day until they where sitting near where the next building walls would be. There was at most one third of the necessary wood for the what would one day be the main living house. The sauna and smoke house he was in now was destined to be a secondary building.

He cursed himself for having let a roasted pike rot. There had been so much on his mind he had forgotten it in. That was much needed nutrition lost. At least a grouse was caught for a quick roast.

Patrolling the fields found half the peas ready for harvest. He ate a few fistfuls right away. Most he harvested for the cellar where he would in time sort out seed stocks from what he would allow himself to eat. Norvus had also taken to splitting spruce twigs for hanging cordage. Again not for delicate things but for hanging meat, if he could actually get a large game animal again.

One afternoon he had even put together a birch bark backpack. He would need such containers, he hoped, for the grains when the rye and barley came in. An extension of the branch markers was laid to the entrance of the sauna’s door.

Winter was getting closer. It seemed the crops would come in but an early freeze might catch some of them.

Starvation was taking hold now. Frustrated he couldn’t sleep. To focus himself he worked the bits of bird leather into clothing. He managed a leather cap more suitable to this season than the fur cap and fur hood he had been wearing. Fresh leather forearm guards replaced the damaged ones from the red foe. The fur cap got a patch. What he really needed was meat or fish! Turnips and berries aren’t sustainable forever!

With more days with no luck in fishing or at the traps Norvus could feel himself weakening. He gave into his need for nourishment. The barley grains in the cellar he split roughly in half. One half back to the cellar as emergency seeds if frost kills the fields. The second half was desperately ground into flour to bake into flat breads.

Through the late night and again on the morning he baked flat breads. He chewed them down as soon as they cooled. The body’s need for the food increased its taste. When he awoke he felt his body starting to respond. It would be a while before he could recover from the days of bad diet but he didn’t have that many grains to use until the harvest came in. He heard squeaks and squeals outside. Perhaps lured by the smell of baking a hare had gone into a trap. At least some meats!

From the stack of barley biscuits and the hare meat Norvus was feeling much better. He had dreaded the thought of dying of starvation or malnutrition after having done so much work to make the homestead.

With returning strength he patrolled the fields. At long last the first of the barley was ripe for harvest. Just in time!

His diet for the next while was now turnip, blueberries, flat breads and a portion of meat. This was restoring his strength while balancing the availability of meats. Norvus began to start on the other short land bridges between the cluster of tiny lakes. They would eventually have their trap fences and a pit trap. The lakes themselves, when not frozen, acting as gigantic fencing to direct the animals to the pits.

One of the pending needs was for more containers. Norvus wanted to be able to get larger amounts of water to store in the cabin. One of the simplest though time consuming ways is to take a block of wood, burn the center, axe the char out and repeat. In time you have a hollow in the block with the outer wood being waterproof. He started on a few of these.

Day 3 of the 6th week before winter. Its snowing! Waking to that realization Norvus hurried to the fields.

Snow was falling here. The ground wasn’t frozen. Norvus hurried about to find what stands of crops where ready for harvest. A grouse was in a trap, he dealt with it quickly. Barley, rye, peas and hemp still needed more time. Another trap held a mallard, quickly slain to be cooked later. Norvus was flushed with anxiety.

By late morning the snow had stopped. The crops were still safe.

The project now is to continue those short trap fences at the land bridges for the chain of small lakes. The odd grouse or hare was showing up again. There were still struggling days with none or only one meat cut to eat with the turnips and berries. The flat bread had run out all too soon.

Norvus wondered if he kept eating blueberries if it would turn his droppings blue.

Day 7 of the 6th week before winter, Early Fall Month. The first of rye was ready to harvest. The first of the lingonberry bushes had ripened.

Day 6 of the 5th week before winter. Most of the crops are in except for the hemp of which none has ripened. There are now four landbridge trap fences with pit traps. Three in the gaps northwest of the homestead. The fourth a bit farther out west north west. All can be distantly viewed from the hilltop. There is also the protective traps and two spiked pit traps of the fields. The camp, correction homestead, has its own traps that have provided game.

The work ahead would soon need to involve threshing the stocks of crops. He hadn’t chanced planting many broad beans which is a shame as they did manage to come in. There was a fair amount of barley and rye to thresh. There was peas and of course many turnips.

If he was going to do any iron working this winter Norvus would need to get some ore. Once the ground froze that would be nearly impossible.

The homestead had its building, crude cords awaiting meat to smoke or dry, a cellar to keep food fresh, water nearby in the lake and a large supply of felled trees should he need firewood. There was of course huge piles of debris from the log work that was the start of the heating stocks.

Norvus could use a water craft but there was little point right now. Soon the rivers would freeze. What he really needed was to make the skis and ski poles he had so badly needed when walking in deep snow at the start of his journey.

Things were looking good yet there was so much more to do.

<Norvus winter 1 plans>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 27, 2018, 03:49:01 AM
Norvus decided to go to the south east where the lonely mountain and mire were. He would search for bog ore before the ground froze. In case of a snow squall he bundled his fur overcoat and hood onto his back. It was a casual walk when…

A red foe!  Under 20 strides away in metal armor!

<Norvus nerjpez 4>

(note: oh crap! oh crap! oh crap!)
(note 2: so far I haven't done a save restore to a prior point. Almost did when he nearly drowned but he did make it out. This one looks really bad for our hero.)
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 27, 2018, 04:53:19 AM
“Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!” ran his thoughts. That was was a lot of metal. Mail coif and lamellar torso. That was a rich warrior possibly a leader. There was a scimitar but no sign of bow nor quiver. Norvus was in fall clothes with the protective fur overcoat on his back. In hand was spear. The mighty northern bow wasn’t ready.

A quick decision.

Norvus ran south!

He twisted around the spruce this way and that. Over a rise and down the other side. A change in direction then back then zig and then zag.

He was half way out of breath when he slide into hiding. This is when he readied his bow and donned the overcoat.

Now he waited catching his breath. He had a good line of sight if the Nerjpez came along his trail. Rain began to fall. Finally he prodded slowly toward where he had seen the red foe.

“This is not the iron I am looking for,” said Norvus.

Novrus spent time quietly circling where he thought was the area he had seen the red foe. Try as he might he couldn’t pick up the trail.

Circling at 100 strides out he did find some trail but it didn’t hold up well in the rain.

At the mountain began his search. Sadly he was disappointed. The outcrop was a cliff. It didn’t seem to give the right run off for ore. That meant he would have to travel several days to the north. He didn’t have local bog ore after all. The only luck he had was finding some Naodi mushrooms for journeys into the spirit realm.

Going home it wasn’t dark yet. Norvus went to check the trap fences. At the farther out lone fence he heard a squirrel. One spear toss missed. Rather than risk damaging his spear over such small game Norvus took out the rock he always carried. A few tries later the squirrel fell to the ground unconscious. Soon it was dispatched. That is when Norvus noticed hour old lynx tracks.

Following them soon led the lynx. With the trap fence to the north Norvus ran to the south. The lynx ran north along the coast of the east lake. Soon it was darting forward and backward. Norvus was confused. Then he realized the dense trees had the lynx cut off. A true flying arrow from the powerful northern bow opened the lynx’s bowels. The scuffle was brief with little danger. Soon it was dispatched though the hide had suffered some damage.

The other pits were clear so Norvus returned to the stead to process the lynx. He was still wearing the fur overcoat wary of possibly meeting that red foe again.

There was a chore now of cleaning the hides and cooking. The lynx hide came off well enough after all.

It pleased Norvus greatly to be start smoking half the lynx meat. It was the start of much more to come. The other half, plus the grouse and squirrel, he roasted to eat over the next few days.

It was even more pleasing to use the smoker side as a work room. The cored out block held a good supply of water to work the hides. He wrestled a length of trunk to use for stretching hides over, until he could put in a table. Work on the hides was started.

Somehow it just seemed right to try one of the magic mushrooms. Another was gifted in sacrifice to the spirits. It seemed so easy now to move that silly trunk out and make a table. All the lovely things dancing around the stead. Such wispy shapes buzzing around the trees. Such a lovely tune they hummed.

Eyes sore with redness Norvus looked at the table. It sat decently well in the west end. Somehow he had even made different sized notches to help with stretching hides. Wood for the fire was stuck under and away from the fireplace. He could stand for now and obviously he was supposed to put a bench in. That’s what the spirits wanted.

The trunk he had first brought in then in the daze taken out was split into boards. Fair ones were used to make the bench. Now it felt like a proper work room with table, bench and storage. Light from the fireplace or the shutter or by opening the door. For now meat was hanging in the smoke coming out of the mid-chimney vent. The room was hazy but so long as he leaned low it didn’t bother him much.

He giggled. He still had too more Naodi magic mushrooms from his journey south.

He giggled again. That red foe in the metal had never shouted a curse. Perhaps he had never even seen Novrus.

Novrus giggled some more. He had ran so fast like an elk through the spruce.

<Norvus visited the spirits 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 28, 2018, 03:15:22 AM
Norvus had eventually regained his senses from the mushroom taking him into the spirit realm. He dreamed that night of escaping the metal clad red foe by the forest spirit turning him into an elk. He ran and leapt in the dream on four legs as his memory said he had done on two legs. Branches and spruce waved aside by his spear and arms like an elk using antlers and shoulders.

He awoke pleased to be close to the forest. Chores awaited. The harvest was coming in. He still had to figure out how to stock at least some iron ore before the ground and lakes froze.

Day 4 of the 4th week before winter. On patrol of the four land-bridge trap fences Norvus smiles at a reindeer stuck in a pit. Finally he had a large kill with a smoker ready for use! Skinning and quartering the animal he took it to the stead. The sky spirit seemed to be with him as it only started to rain when he was walking in the stead door.

With a fresh smoky fire the under roof of his tall stead filled with smoke. Four bundles of sliced reindeer where hung next to the already present lynx. Each reindeer bundle was more than twice that of the smoking lynx meat. Other portions he roasted to eat for the next week.

Teeth tore happily into the roast venison. There was no need to portion meats tonight. Tomorrow he could spread the meat by cutting with turnips. Maybe. Tonight was all about the meat! Norvus cheered and laughed gnashing onto another cut of reindeer.

With a full belly, good health and gleeful spirits Norvus wrapped himself in the bear fur while the chimney rocks radiated with heat. He slept deep and full.

The next day saw the first of the hemp ready for harvest. Most needed a bit more time. Almost all the other fields had been collected. A few peas and ryes were not quite ripe. There was already a good stock of those in the cellar.

Now he had to work hard yet again. Before the ice came he would need to gather ore. He would try now for lake ore and that meant having a watercraft. Norvus chose to attempt a birch bark watercraft.

From a felled birch he peeled off all of its birch. To set it to shape he put long lengths of wood to hold it open wide. Carved wooden stakes became horizontal braces. Branches he shaped into many pegs. Then he weighted all that with heavy stones. This would force it to stay open. Once it was stable ribs would be inserted, boards placed for a seat, smaller boards at each end to hold the shape and lashings to keep it together. Sap and pitch would then be worked on the seams to improve the waterproofing.

As well as ore he would clay for some tasks. Fortunately the stead was just up from a small lake. It was a simple though tiring task to start a clay pit and extract the first useable lumps. For now he would store those outside the house.

Stones would be needed for other parts of a smith’s shop. Quite a few remained from building the fireplace. If need be more could be gathered in the winter.

To search the lake a prod, like sesta, was needed. Easily shaped with his axes. A dip net was needed. The recent reindeer hide was used for the scoop. He fashioned it best he could though it seemed unbalanced when he wa done.

Day 7 of the 4th week before winter Norvus awoke to snow fall. Winter was coming. The ore and clay needed to be stockpiled quickly! The hemp was still ripening in the fields. By late morning the snow had stopped. It was clearly a warning sign. Into the afternoon the canoe was finished.

He tested the canoe in shallow water. It held up well.

Into the evening with canoe, sesta prod, dipping net and fishing rod Norvus had a few ores and a pike-perch caught onto in the deep of the lake he could never have reached from shore.

Norvus settled to sleep when he shot up right. He hadn’t given iron to the spirits! Choosing the red foe’s knife as the sacrifice he went out to a bog. Striding through the dark with snow filtering onto his now worn fur overcoat he came to a familiar bog. A mix of pine and spruce was burned to make bright and smoky fire.

“Life begets life. Iron begets iron,” chanted Norvus.

“Life begets life. Iron begets iron.”

“Life begets life. Iron begets iron.”

Then the knife was tossed into bog water. The waters swirled as if a hand was pulling the knife down below. He felt confident for his future iron searches.

Day 2 of the 3rd week before winter. With his canoe overhead Norvus hiked toward the main lake that linked to the great river. It was pleasing to boating out on it. His goal remained to stockpile ores.

Checking cellar supplies the Naodi magic mushrooms were starting to go off. Grinning he ate one anyway. Its partner was taken out in the canoe to be offered to the water spirits. They were now tied to his source of iron. It was quite an experience with the waves dancing, twirling, singing and laughing with him.

A happy routine settled in. Gathering hemp as it ripened, ores from the lakes, clay from the shore and a few fishes as well. Meats were smoking in preservation that would give him a month’s reserve. Hundreds of pounds of crops in the cellar awaiting threshing. The piles of ore and clay were of a fair size. Sure enough to be productive during winter storms. Felled trees lay ready for starting the next building or to be sacrificed for fire wood. Water from the lake was endless. A pair of fire and axe hollowed blocks let him store water in the stead. This was a good time for Norvus.

Various small furs and leathers were in stock. A birch bark backpack was on him when he traveled while a box and two baskets awaiting threshing. Three bags from when he bought seeds awaited their refill. Fur of the bear caught on the field was untouched by knife. It was a wonderful layer on top of the sleeping bunk. The fur coat and other furs covered him in a fun jumble of material that shifted as if the house spirit was playing a gentle game.

<Norvus happy in fall 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 28, 2018, 07:54:23 PM
(Note: Name fix. Character name is Novrus for November Russ I had typed it a lot with the v and r swapped for Norvus. In the game the name is indeed Novrus. Fixing it in the master journal file was an easy find and replace. Fixing it in the many forum thread posts isn’t so practical. Forum readers please connect that Novrus and Norvus are the same person.)

The chores in the next few days were simple and happy ones. Collecting stones and berries. Paddling in the canoe was to be enjoyed before the ice came. Here and there a bird was in a trap. Half the hemp was stored. The rest of hemp seemed to be weathering the cooling fall nicely. A few stalks of rye had withered. A trivial concern considering how much was safely in the cellar. 

One matter came to his concern. That being how slim his stock of herbal medicines were. Very few were in season when he traveled northward in the spring. He had little time to search in summer laying the fields. Herbs would be withered in the snows so perhaps he should take a few days to gather. That might go better if he paddled south toward warmer places. It would risk being caught by ice.
Locally in the mires he could find berries easily. Helpful when in need but they weren’t medicine.
Poisonous bearpaw mushrooms were around. He had to be careful not to take those. They could be eaten if boiled but he felt they were far to risky to have. Around one of the trap pits Novrus had even burned out a few bearpaw’s lest they taint the meat of a catch. One time Novrus in dim morning light reached for a building stone only to realize he had grabbed a bearpaw. He washed his hands thoroughly right away!

Taking the canoe on a paddle he explored one of the three small islands on the large lake to the north. Crossing over to the mires in search of herbs he found only berries and unfamiliar mushrooms. Across the mire a group of seven short traders was seen.

Novrus met with them. Even though he had left his trade furs in the cabin it was good to have human conversation. It would also do him good to stock some salt. Brooches on their cloak bore the mark of a place Novrus heard his grandfather mention in stories, “High Hold.” Novrus explained his need for salt. Their leader broke out in song:

“We have axes,
We have swords,
We have clothing of mail
We even have a silver ring,
But we have no salt today.

Oh we have no salt today.

Today. Today.

Oh we have no salt today”

Curling his eyebrows at their odd behavior Novrus continued on his way.

Behind him the seven short traders began to sing in unison.

“High Hold. High Hold.

Its off to trade we go.

With goods of steel and cloth of mail,

Its off to trade we go.”

His landings around the lake and at another island produced no herbs. Berries Novrus grabbed a few more pounds. Stones were much easier to bring back in the canoe. Novrus figured the stockpiles now had enough to build both a forge in a smithy and a fireplace in the next house.

There was time yet until the lynx cuts would be the first to finish smoking. Debating the opportunities Novrus set about putting on gutters on the building. These would guide rain water and melting snow into a barrel. The barrel was the toughest part to build. A rain catcher goes a long way to providing water. With the lake nearby this was a luxury. If he didn’t have to wait for the smoking lynx meat Novrus might not have bothered with it. Still, it would be handy in deep winter storms to only have to walk to the corner of the building to chip out ice and scoop up water. He could fill the hollowed out blocks every few days with only brief times outdoors.

Day 2 of the 2nd week before winter. The house’s rain catching barrel is finished. A few minutes before it was done the sky spirit turned from snow to rain. Novrus smiled and waved to the sky. The sky spirit was giving him rain to fill the barrel right away! How wonderful!

The next day a thin layer of snow was finally staying on the ground. This is the last few days he could risk taking the canoe south to find herbs.

He heard a noise to the south. 200 yards south was a Nerjpez. They Norvus and the red foe were both only a few hundred yards from the stead!

<Novrus Nerj in fall snow>

(The picture attached shows the expanded world view map around the stead. The stead is the red X near the center.

Owl tribe is to the north and Flower Wild to the east.

Kuamo are to the south.

Nerjpez are just visible in the far south east. I had to shift the map slightly to fit them in.)

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 28, 2018, 08:44:51 PM
Novrus watched briefly then assessed his equipment. He carried various tools weighing him down and he had left his furs to layer for armor in the stead. He shuffled home.

Warily he checked the traps outside the door. Still in place. He put away the tools, gathered the smoked lynx, lowered the amount of other foods carried and dressed in all the fur layers he had. These were worn for fighting. It was far from cold enough to need them all.

Having learned from experience it was the Flower Wild’s laminated northern bow that was in his hand. An arrow on the string waiting for its pull to power. Today he is hunting a red foe.

Before leaving he made a sacrifice to the spirits.

“Guard the home. Watch over me. Keep our lands safe. Dispel any red foe magic. What you can do today is the day to do it.”

Moving to where the red foe had been seen in the distance Novrus began looking for tracks. Having been at a distance it wasn’t sure to know exactly where.

“I’ll find you,” said Novrus, “You are too close to my home to be ignored.”

Novrus slid about the peninsula. His fur clad form with bow ready and other weapons in reserve. He searched around broadly finding no trail.

“I’ll not leave so easily. Both my home and Wild Flower village are in danger.”

Novrus moved south to begin a detailed slow search north. Fur bearing like an animal his steps were curled toward silence.

Red foe walked about from trees.

Novrus froze.

Red foe had not seen him.

Twelve strides away. The red foe passing across Novrus’s stealthy path.

Red foe wore a fur overcoat so had prepared fir winter. A mail cowl was on his head. That seemed to be his only metal armor. Red foe bore a shield and scimitar. A hand axe in his belt. No sign of a bow nor quiver.

Twelve strides away Novrus leaned his torso onto spruce branches to clear his view. Left hand pushing forward on the Flower Wild’s mighty bow. Right hand pulling back on the menacing arrow.

Those spruce branches release droppings of snow softly thumping on the ground.

Red Foe turns to look at the nonthreatening noise.

Twelve strides away the arrow flew.

True to flight, perfect in balance, the arrow lunged.

Red foe’s face took the arrow deeply plunged.

Red foe fell.

No mist of breath left red foe’s lips.

Novrus let out his breath. Deeply in he drew in the air. His long breath out making a curling wisp of frosty air before his living mouth.

Novrus stared at the man’s death for a few moments.

He wondered of his courage. Sometimes he ran when he was at a disadvantage from bear or red foe. Sometimes he became a cold minded slayer.

Novrus breathed again.

It was when there was a reason to fight. To have elk meat to survive, to protect a village, to protect his home. Then the risk of tears, bleeding, infection and death were worth it.

Satisfied the spirit was gone Novrus approached the one shotted red foe.

<Novrus to the face>

(v2 on the pic refers to having to change the quality to fit in the allowed upload size)
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 28, 2018, 10:55:50 PM
Novrus knelt by the red foe. The clothing and fur worn all had many tears and repairs. The weapons were in decent shape. Red foe had just two cuts of meat on him. One Novrus gave to the spirits.

“You’ve been out a long time,” said Novrus to the corpse.

“May your journey home be swift.”

Novrus felled two trees. One pushed to each side of the warrior. He gathered fresh spruce to add smoke to the fire. Lighting it Novrus wished the warrior a swift journey to his home place.

Returning to the stead Novrus shifted through the belongings.

The delays from stalking, stripping and pyre for red foe were added to by butchering another grouse in the camp traps. Perhaps the spirits had sent it to say thank you to Novrus for slaying the red foe. Days were shorter now. It was too late to start a canoe trip. Novrus harvested a few more stalks of hemp than sang songs to the house spirit.

Next day he began the canoe trip. It seemed as if he could travel by canoe three, four or five times faster than he had been stumbling about on the ground in various depths of snow. He landed by the cliff he had once thought to get iron near but found no herbs. In the afternoon now on an unfamiliar river running south he spotted a cluster of hills and a mountain. There he had some luck in finding flowering plants still alive. Though of course he didn’t really know what they were. Still he gathered them to study and ask about.

He found a mountain surrounded by heathland. With no mire near it wouldn’t have the right flows to form bog iron. Still he climbed the mountain to search for herbs. If there had been any they had not survived the first snows. Novrus offered the mountain spirit a turnip and rock for future friendship.

A small island comprised of a cliff and small mire. Again not a place to really find bog ore. Novrus landed and found other grassy flowers. Also not sure what they were he gathered them. He tasted a leaf. Still he wasn’t sure. Leaves were rarely poisonous. It was mushrooms one shouldn’t taste test.

In the evening he recognized the area of one of the Kuamo villages, “Kalmokoski” the “Death rapids”. It was across a short portage. He took the canoe with him in hopes that tomorrow he might find a water link up. Amid the trees near them he found more of the uncertain grasses and one he did know, sorrel. The sorrel was amid a pasture while clayweed was still showing up in their fields. Unwanted as a crop the harvest and gatherings would be a boon to lone survivor like Novrus.

Entering the village Novrus was greeted by Aaro a sage. He had indeed been here before. Searching their goods Novrus was surprised to see a battered long mail hauberk. Apparently someone had been fighting Nerjpez around here too! It was far to valuable for what he had to trade this time. Novrus was able to trade a red foe hand axe for woolen tunic. It felt much nicer against his skin. Over that was a fur shirt and fur overcoat.

“You are a hulking mass of warmth!” Aaro laughed.

Novrus spent the night in one of their homes. He told the stories of his cabin and his two quick kills on Nerjpez. Aaro spoked about the herbs without ever completely answering Novrus. In the morning Novrus, still portaging his canoe, looked for more herbs near Death Rapids. That’s when he realized the plants where heather.

That’s what Aaro had been going on about.

“The flower when you quake and shake,” Aaro had said, “When howling winds become a babbling brook.”

“Why can’t you just tell me when I show you a sample?” said Novrus.

No one was around. Sages where their own sort of people. Perhaps it gave them assurance of their duties if only the sage-like understood all the stories and plants. Heather was for when you had fevers, shakes or troubles in the lungs.

It was late afternoon when Novrus took to the water. He had alot of sorrel and heather. There was also clayweed and other plants he wasn’t sure of. Sorrel was a good spice for cooking. Others had or might have medical properties. He felt he had made a good gathering trip. The wool tunic was pleasant to wear. In a short paddle he confirmed the river he had followed linked to the one that went by “Death rapids.” That would be useful on later trading trips. Now he much desired to paddle upstream before the ice came.

He had departed too late to much progress. In the evening he rowed ashore. He simple slept inside the canoe on top of all the harvested plants. That plan ended when the raining started.

In the midnight of fall Novrus could hardly see a thing! He was in an unfamiliar pine forest. Scouting nearby didnt reveal any spruces within the very limited range of eyes in near complete darkness. Since he couldn’t make a shelter to escape the rain he decided to slowly paddle northward close to the shore. It would a slow speed in case rocks or shallows should be bumped into.

When the rain stopped a while he took out his fishing kit. Nothing was caught before the rain started again. Using his leather cap he bailed out the canoe before continuing.

Dawn’s small hours started to scatter light. He rowed up the river. Somewhere in the night he had taken a wrong turn. He figured he could portage east a ways and get back on his desired river. His landing was at a soggy cold pine mire. Carrying all the plants and the canoe twice a boot got stuck in the mud. He freed it with help from his spear each time. Much did he desire the comfort of his stead. At least with all his ‘fighting layers’ of furs he remained warm even the cold mire under the rain.

Paddling along in the afternoon he saw a Nerjpez out on the water.

<Novrus nerjpez on water>

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 29, 2018, 01:59:10 AM
Novrus himself was fairly fatigued by paddling. He watched to recover his strength.

The red foe was moving, slowly, across the water.

Novrus was taking his time to recover lest he go into battle exhausted.

Red foe moved toward the shore. Novrus paddled faster and cut him off. Red foe swam back into the middle of wide river-lake. Novrus watched controlling his breathing.

There was an island nearby. Was red foe trying to get to it? Red foe didn’t seem to be making any progress though.

Finally Novrus, though still recovering, decided to close up. That is when he lost sight of the red foe. Novrus paddled around the area. Of course being water there was no tracks. He didn’t the red foe on the lake.

Had he drowned?

Perhaps the red foe had been clinging to wood or a log trying to cross the wide river when it had gotten away from him.

Being close the stead and hungry Novrus decided to get the burden of southern herbs into the cellar.

Novrus resumed his chores. Before it was to cold he decided to make a half stead forge. This would have one wide wall and perhaps a short side to better block the wind. It would be mostly open. The roofing would cover the forge with the workspace.

Day 2 of the last week to winter. Fatigued from moving logs towards the forge location Novrus went to go out in the canoe. A thin hide of white spread out from the shore to where waters still lapped. The ice had begun.

“Well, I got back in good time,” said Novrus.

He was glad not to have left on his herb trip a few days later than he did. A few days gathering in the south could have also meant fighting the canoe back through the ice. He was right now well stocked on many things for the winter. The smoker had finished coating the reindeer cuts which now laid in the cellar.

Putting his hands on his hips Novrus looked out over the ice, water and slush.

“Fall slush season has begun,” said Novrus, “One of the hard times of year to travel. Soon there will be snow upon which to glide on skis. To easily track game trails that shuffle the white. For now traveling is slim. No boating and no easy hikes.

Well canoe. Where shall we put you? Under a spruce tree with a layer of spruce twigs to shelter you from snow? A wonderful place for a few animals to sleep in.”

Novrus laughed.

“My stead is tall. My ceiling. I shall put you up in the rafters. There no ice will sting your seams.”

Novrus portaged the canoe to the stead. Inside he gathered two leather ropes he had made from bird hides. Turning the canoe over he tied the leather ropes together then threw one end over a rafter. He pulled the one end up into the air. He tied the rope’s low end to a peg. Suspended tilted   the canoe was easier to manage while Novrus fitted a staff thick tree trunk to bear the weight of that end. He repeated the rope then brace on the other end of the canoe. Once level he added a third slender trunk as a safety brace. For now he left the leather ropes on the canoe.
Now the upside canoe seemed like a snuggled guest in the stead. It hung on the sleeping and sauna side of the first homestead. Novrus hung the paddle across wall pegs.

Day 4 of the last week before winter. Novrus stopped preparations on the forge to start threshing. Today he threshed the pea harvest. He considered the harvest marginal. It seemed he had only harvested about as much as he put into the soil. He put the peas into a container, ate a good serving then put the rest of the peas in the cellar for the next spring. He would also debate whether to bother at all with them.

The rye yield was much better. In the spring he had at most one bag of rye grains. Novrus filled two bags, a birch-bark box and a birch-bark basket with rye grains! That was a good yield!

The next morning he ground a few pounds of rye grains to flour. Then he baked rye flat breads with sorrel leaves for flavoring. The warm spiced breads sat well in the belly.

Day 5 of the last week before winter. After the rye threshing and first grinds Novrus started this day checking the trap fences and the field traps. No game there this time. He traveled to the nearby hill but saw no game. Also no red foe was in sight. Coming back to the homestead he spotted an elk in the mires to the south east. The hunt is on!

<Novrus fall 1 elk 2>

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 29, 2018, 04:56:30 AM

Novrus loved his spear as a walking staff. Now was the time for the Flower Wild laminated bow. He moved in along the forest trails around his homestead he had come to know. He could see the elk a few times as he closed in. At last they met.

The elk seemed to be pushing apart trees back and forth. Thinking it trapped Novrus moved for a very close shot.

Then it broke free and dashed away. Novrus was close behind. Soon he had a shot, loosed but missed. The arrow tangled on spruce was quickly recovered. Following the obvious fresh trail led to a mire. There Novrus could see the elk was traveling with calf.

Novrus tried a shot across the mire. Powerful is the Flower Wild bow. Where that arrow went nobody knows.

Novrus pursued. He tried to split calf from mother knowing the two would shorten the distance by coming back. He was still trying for position when of all things the elks run through the seven High Hold traders. Novrus shouted a greeting as he went past.

Blasted birch!

All the trader milling around had stirred the mire mud. Where was the elk trail?

Novrus guessed at likely paths stopping again and again to look for tracks.

Once again he came across the High Hold traders singing their trading song.

“High Hold. High Hold.
Its off to trade we go.
With goods of steel and cloth of mail,
Its off to trade we go.”

Once again their seven criss crossing foot trails obliterated any hope of finding elk trails.

Novrus went back to find the “hub”. The place he was last sure of the game. This time he went east. He was losing hope when he turned south.

There it is! Perhaps forty strides down the mire. Once again Novrus is tailing the elk.

Once again the elk tracks went amid the stampings of the short folk from High Hold.

Diligence rewarded Novrus as doing a wide wheel around the hub he found fresh elk tracks going south east. Meanwhile the singing of the High Holders was fading to the north west. The elk trails led east in among dense spruce. Now if there was a sighting they would be at short bow range.

Continuing the trailing Novrus found himself once again the mire. The elk trail went out, turned perpendicular, traveled turned to be reversing the original course. Soon the elk were traveling over their own tracks confounding the tracking.

Hours of seeking tracks in wider and wider wheels took their toll on his energy. Come evening Novrus had yielded from the hunt. Between the clever mother guiding them back and forth their own tracks and the mess from the traders Novrus couldn’t keep on the elk. Novrus returned from the hunt. He ate and slept well in the homestead.

The next morning with the increasing cold he decided to make himself a pair of leather paws. That is semi-fingered leather hand covers. They needed leather cords to make the seams. He had good stocks of bird leathers. They came out decently. He could wear these inside his large fur mittens. Hands are very important in winter tasks. Now he had double layer coverage for them, when he needed it.

Trying them both on Novrus felt the glutton fur mittens he had made long ago weren’t holding up well. Seams were splitting and there was a tear in the hide. In those places wind and wet could get through. Novrus decided to leave the glutton mittens here and replace them. For material he chose the worst off of the red foe fur overcoats. The new mittens were soon done. He had left more allowance for wearing the leather paws underneath. His skills had improved too. These new mittens were without those gaps.

Novrus studied the canoe on the three bars overhead. It occurred to him that if one of the wood bars gave way it was unlikely the center of the canoe’s weight would stay balanced. Novrus fetched another slender trunk. He put it at a third a way along the canoe and moved the mid-point par to the second third. This seemed much safer to have overhead.

For chores Norvus went out to get birch bark to make containers for seeds. He went farther out and even up the hill to check for sign of the elks or other game. He managed a pair of baskets before going to sleep.

In the morning he started to thresh the heather. To his dismay it really had withered to much to be of any use. All that mass of heather in the cellar was just stalks.

Novrus sighed.

The sorrel however processed better. He got seeds from it. This means next spring having a sorrel patch to flavor the cooking. The seeds were tiny. They barely touched on the capacity of the small birch-bark box Novrus had made. The seeds and most of the flavor bearing leaves went back into the cellar.

Next Novrus processed the broad bean harvest. The yield was sixty six pounds. Three if not four fold of what he had planted. Both the baskets he had made last night were used and they only took half of the harvest. The next morning Novrus made use of the cut up red foe overcoat to make bags, with their tying cords. One was needed to finish properly storing the broad beans. That was also with a hollowed block in the homestead holding beans as a ready to eat supply. He ate a meal of only broad beans to clean up the storage.

<Novrus fall 1 thresh 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 29, 2018, 08:37:27 PM
Day 4 of week 13 before midwinter. Novrus set up a charcoal burn. A large stack of firewood, covered in earth, with an inner chimney. The goal is to burn the wood down to charcoal. That is drive out the moisture and impurities so you have only heating wood left in the charcoal. This was an awkward time of year to do this. You had to control the air going in. When winds change so to does the airflow. Charcoaling was best done in other seasons. In winter the winds shifted more often. Novrus hoped to finish this burn and maybe a second to stockpile for the winter iron smithing.

He worked late into the night putting fire to the mound. He adjusted opens here and there. The ground was frosty, which meant more moisture, and added its own problem to the burn.

The weather seemed obliging so Novrus decided to make a third burn. He had to stay nearby during this time. Professional charcoalers sat on one legged stools so they would fall over if they fell asleep. Novrus couldn’t manage that. He’d have to take chances here and there to sleep or do nearby chores. He had figured if he was going to be stuck he might as well as several going. Once the winter howls picked up the shifting winds would make proper charcoaling impracticable. Once again now was his best chance to do a major task.

Nearby the trees assembled for making the smithy half shelter still awaited tending. Ideally those walls should go up before the ground froze. While soft the ground would more naturally adapt to the weight. The icy ground would soften in spring time and some tilt would happen. Undesirable but unlikely to be critical. That is unlikely it would fall over.

Novrus went back to splitting trees down into firewood for the third burn. He could do all this work because of the foods stockpiled from the fields and the meats preserved by the smoke house.

“A stead’s first year is its hardest year,” said Novrus.

Those were words grandfather had also told him. How right he was. So many things to do within certain times. Next year with so many things built there would be greater flexibility. Hoisting his woodsman’s axe up swung it down once again and a hundred times more.

On the next days Novrus resumed preparing felled trees into the logs for the smithy half shelter. He was working where he could easily look over to the charcoal mounds. When needed he went over to cover up places with flame to return it to the days of slow smoldering.

Some times he was out at midnight in a snowfall making those adjustments. The temperature was bouncing above and below freezing. It snowed light, snowed hard and at times even came down as cold drizzling rain. Layers of fur kept him warm. Each time he slept in the stead the furs dried.

A few days of work with the shifting winds and weather. Novrus was managing though there were times flames flared out of the burns. It had been several days since he last checked the trap fences. Patting the burns with a few shovels full of dirt he allowed himself to make the short hikes.

In the fourth one from the stead, that is the trap fence west north west and farther out, there was an elk. One foreleg seemed broken and its head swayed oddly on its neck. The elk must have gone headfirst down the pit at a good run.

Normally Novrus would be excited with joy. Today he faced the necessity of skinning and butchering the beast while yet somehow keeping the charcoal burns safe. There was a start of ice again on the waters so fetching the beast in the canoe was out of the options. Novrus took a breath then stepped up to the pit.

“Thank you for coming and joining me in the circle of life,” said Novrus to the elk, “You challenge me to. So much must I do at once. Yet this is a good challenge. For that I again thank you.”

Then Novrus began bashing the elk about the head with the back of his two handed woodsman’s axe. Three blows later it was unconscious. Knife edge drawn across neck started a great bleed. A second cut was needed though. Novrus began to skin the animal and gut it to release the heat. He soon became exhausted. He would risk sleeping with the elk to guard it. He had to take his chances with the charcoal burns.
He slept only a few hours before awakening. Finishing the skinning he cut the first meats off. A piece was given to the spirits. Then Novrus hurried back to the stead to attend the burns.

By early morning Novrus was ready to return to the elk. The first charcoal burn was complete. The other two stable again.

When he got back to the elk there was no signs of animal’s finding it. With the hide off and guts exposed the falling snow had helped cool the meat. Lower legs were removed. Shoulders with their meat sectioned off. Novrus’s eyes began to falter calling for sleep. It not being safe to use a knife like that he took a large load of meat back to the stead. He had most of it set up for smoking before he finally slumped over in the corner.

When he awoke it late evening. That was how bad his sleep was off. Earth was adjusted on the second and third charcoal burns. Then he made back to the elk. The remaining elk carcass was now light enough Novrus carried it back to the stead.

Novrus removed the backstrap tendons carefully. The long sinews have their own use. Possibly a bow string though he couldn’t hope to complete with the Flower Wild’s laminated northern bow.

Day 4 of the 12th week before midwinter. The elk was processed now. A few portions roasted. A large amount hanging in the smoke room. Thanks to building in a depression the extra height meant the meat could be high in smoke with less smoke at kneeling height. In the cellar a collection of smoked reindeer still awaited consumption. With the meats, vegetables and berries Novrus’s stead had one or maybe two person months of food on hand.

Heat from the smoking melted snow on the roof and it was still raining at times. The rain barrel was full with on hand water. The lake just a short walk away. Checking on the remaining charcoal burns Novrus went back to smoothing logs for the smithy.

Later afternoon Novrus took the few steps to the charcoal burn. The second burn was now complete. The third might be done in a day or two. He padded more earth on the last burn.

Freshly roasted elk made his diet for a few days. His limbs felt much better for it.

The next day was a warmer day melting off the thin snow that had landed overnight. Novrus decided this was the best weather and ground he could hope for to start the smithy half-shelter. He would lay the parts for the stabilizing corner and then extended the wing from there on later days.

To rest Novrus sat amid the trees on the south side of the cabin. He had brought over tree trunks to use as benches. Leaning over to the other log he put out an offering to the spirits to come and visit. Straightening back on his own log bench he stretched his legs out before him.

Thud went a stead trap. Later another. Searching the traps Novrus found two live birds to dispatch for meat and one rotted raven carcass. To apologize for missing the raven he burnt it in the ceremonial clearing with spruce giving smoke to lift the spirit.

The elk’s hide come out very well. The fine quality increased even more by being a thick winter fur. This would be of use if the High Holders came this way again. The elk’s backstrap ligaments had been worked apart then braided into strings. He set those aside for a later quality project.

Day 7 of the 12th week to mid winter. The third and final charcoal burn completed successfully. There was above freezing “warm” days still. Novrus put a layer of his furs in the stead along with the fine winter elk hide. These were good days to continue work on the smithy walls.

The next day there was several trapped birds and an ermine in its winter fur wiggling in a trap. It seemed like he spent the day processing their hides.

He awoke again the day after to a comfortable breeze of the house spirit’s kiss on his cheek. It seemed they understood each other now. Perhaps the forest had been angry when he had logged so many trees. They had been for a purpose and not to waste. They were in use now and that seemed to please the forest.

When fatigued from working Novrus couldn’t go fishing with the ice risk. Instead he took to casual strolls gathering berries and checking on the trap fences. Part of him hoped not to find any large animal in the pits. That would mean taking time to process them. Time that would be taken away from making the smithy.

Day 5 of the 11th week before midwinter. The smithy now has a forge braced in a corner of log walls. All this done before the snow was staying on the ground. Novrus was confident there would be little problem with frost heaving or spring melts. Novrus still desired to extend one wall to make a work area and shelter a bloomery. With its hefty weight setting the forge had been an important task. Novrus burned a gift of meat to call forth a forge spirit to aide in the work ahead. Symbolic lumps of charcoal, a board for lasting heat and branches for kindling made the ceremonial fire.

<Norvus forge built>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 29, 2018, 08:41:07 PM

Before I forget to mention yet again...

With the way the graphics work it would have been easier game play if the first building was split east-west not north-south. The way the walls display objects, like cooking roasts, are hidden by the wall graphics which rise up... northward... to show their height.

Its not really practical to fix Novrus's house as I'd have to dismantle and rebuild several exterior walls to re-position the windows plus remake the three interior divider pieces (fireplace, wall, door).

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 29, 2018, 09:15:44 PM

Day 1 of the 10th week to midwinter. Novrus finally puzzled out that one of the unknown leaves he had gathered were burdock. It was good for causing a sweat to purge toxins and poisons. A very good thing to have in your medicine pouch!

Novrus returned, widened the forge’s ceiling and floor then prepared to assemble a bloomery.

(Sorry for the short this time. I’m saving as Ive not used this part of Boudica’s mod before and I’m not 100% sure on how the bloomery is put on the map)

<Novrus to bloomery>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 30, 2018, 04:49:28 AM
With stones and clay Novrus put the bloomery into the smithy. Space was left between it and the forge for him to work. The clay needed to cool. Novrus gathered up unused clay, of which he had a lot, to make clay pots. These he shaped inside the house. They needed to cool before use. He needed more containers for the seeds and harvest still be threshed apart.

As the bloomery cooled to set the clay Novrus returned to a happy cycle of chores. Instincts, or spirits, nudged him to gather more berries. It was like a harvest he didn’t need to plant. Only the cloud berries in mires and lingon berries in other places were still in season. The berries in the stockpiles and these new ones would spread out the meat and block monotony.

Day 7 of the 10th day before midwinter.
Novrus managed to make a bellows for the smithy. It took almost every bit of bird leather and a red foe’s slashed leather boots to make. With all the stitching there was wheezing  in the seams here and there. It did blow a strong flow of air and that’s what mattered most. Finally Novrus lit the bloomery and begun to smelt ores he had already roasted.

Day 1 of the 9th day before midwinter.
For all the effort of building a smithy, paddling to find ore, staggering deprived of sleep for the charcoal and the wrestling to make bellows the first bloom was both a blessing and a sadness. It was so small. That is the way with iron. Novrus wondered if he would get enough to make his cooking pot.

Novrus took the bloom into the stead. He laid the shape down on a spare hunk of fur. He wrapped the fur over the bloom. He leaned low to the blanketed bloom. With the soft voice of a parent tucking a child in Novrus spoke.

“Iron you are like a newborn baby. Small. Helpless. Needing care. You shall be my child. As your parent I shall teach you a shape. Feed you fire. Make you strong. Make you useful. You will like what you become.

Now I must go and birth your brothers and sisters.”

Day 3 of the 9th day before midwinter.

Two more iron blooms joined the first born. The world was now white with a staying thin layer of snow. Novrus was a proud father birthing the iron blooms. Once he made the siblings that he could it would be time to craft skis and a ski pole.

If ever he was going to have yarn or hemp cloth it needed to be retted. Novrus wasn’t so sure how well it would do in the winter. There was the lake. He took a quarter of the hemp harvest, broke a hole the ice and weighed the plants down to soak to the loosened form called retted.

Day 5 of the 9th day before midwinter.

Novrus has finished all the bloom she had gathered ores for. It wasn’t very many after all. The fur of iron now had five siblings including the first born.

Day 1 of the 8th week before midwinter

Novrus awoke just past midnight. Various works like making pitch glue had been taking him to work and rest at different times. Today he wanted to continue prepping the forge. He made his way to the lichenous forests just below the nearby hill.

With limited light Novrus decided it was best to start with the smaller of the two stones. Finding the right sort of stone for a whetstone he used another to grind it into the flat shapes for sharpening.

Light was slowly rising.

A handful of strides away his eyes caught a shadow in the snow. Moving closer he realized they were elk tracks! Perhaps an hour or so old. The whetstone had taken at least two hours to make. Had the elk wandered this close in the black of night just outside his view?

Perhaps a quarter of an hour later he caught a glimpse of the elk’s shadowy form. There was barely enough light to see each at twenty strides. It to saw him and bolted. Quiet as he could he followed the tracks. After a curl here and there in trail Novrus realized the trail would cross up and down a hillock. It was just tall enough to hide a man or elk.

A cough. The cough of an elk.

Rather than advance Novrus stayed still. He aligned his bow and arrow with the direction of cough. No one can hold a bow at full draw for long so he only took up the tension. His mind went calm like it did in worthy battles. His breathing shallowed to a mere whisper.

A moment of silence.

Another moment of nothing.

The elk crested the rise coming toward him. Straighten his body bowstring was pulled to full. Eye aligning the path. The arrow loosed.

It grazed the elk’s hip before the arrow skidded to the ground.

Novrus moved up now. It wouldn’t run though the elk was. He needed to conserve his strength and keep his mind clear. He recovered the arrow and resumed his stalk. Snow’s thin carpet kept the trail visible. Morning’s shadows highlighted the disturbances of the elk for the rest was smooth blanket of a fresh snowfall.

Following the turns up the hill and down again the elk saw him first and bolted again. Novrus continued stalking.

<Novrus stalking elk 3>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on November 30, 2018, 11:08:21 PM
Pre-dawn sunlight dimly lit the pines of the heathland with its thin snuggle of snow. Novrus stood still taking a breath. Elk tracks he had been following continued on in twists and turns plus the swirls of feeding. Novrus asked himself how to do this hunt.

To stalk was to follow the trail in the snow as quietly as possible. Now and then he might get a chance to shoot. His first shot had just grazed the elk doing little to hinder to it. The second chance he never got a chance to fire as the elk saw him first. Stalking like this could go on for hours. Each hour a chance to lose the tracks or be confounded by the switching back.

A drive hunt was possible. That is when you drive the animal toward waiting hunters or prepared traps. From where they were now the fields with two spiked pit traps was to the south. To the south west there were three land bridges each with a trap fence guiding into an unspiked pit. Ice on the lakes was far to thin to risk a human so certainly not an elk. That would better guide the elk to the pits. If he was to drive he needed the right angle to drive the elk. Possibly he could run at it to speed the drive.

That made Novrus recall endurance hunting. That is the very long chase where you tire out the prey faster than the hunter. Once the animal was exhausted you could get close for wounding shots or strikes. Deep winter snow hinders most animals but elk could plow through all but the deepest. The elk might tire it out in deep snow if Novrus was on skis. Right now it there was neither deep snow nor skis.

With those traps nearby Novrus could simply abandon the stalk. Let the elk go to its own wanderings to perhaps strike a pit on its own. This as trapping not hunting in its purest form. If the ice on the lake was stronger the elk could easily cross on the lakes. The current thin ice would prevent that. Still it was a gambling the elk went toward the traps. It could still go in many different directions.

For now with such fresh tracks Novrus continued to stalk.

More steps and turns with the elk seen again. Twenty strides with nearly a half dozen trees in the way. The chance of a hit minimal. A little closer. The elk spots him and turn. Novrus takes the shot with a narrow miss at its legs. He had hoped a leg wound would slow it.

Again to stalking. The trail going east meaning away from the traps. It also meant going in among dense spruce again. A fresh chance for a close range shot from a stalking.

An hour later into the early morning Novrus heard the elk cough. He stood still bringing up and half drawing the arrow. A few moments later the elk could just be seen. It was strolling. Novrus held still seeing two or three spruce along the arrow’s would be flight path. Elk didn’t oblige. It turns around a tree to graze on the other side. Novrus advanced slowly.

Patience is a hunter’s virtue. Novrus stayed on the trail going east away from the stead. Sloping ground came to view. Ahead lay a sheet of lake ice. Elk’s trail turned north along the bank. At least the elk was now partially pinned. Again it was moving away from the traps.

With the limited sunshine of northern winter the sun had not yet appeared over the horizon.

A cough amid the spruce. Investigating the elk heard him and ran toward the lake again. Novrus followed best he could. The trails of the one elk now doubled over each other. Using hub and wheel Novrus did one then a second circle trying to figure out the tracks. Perhaps it was time to give up. One more pass when Novrus saw the elk walking behind a rise. Norvus slide up the rest. He crested and fired. The arrow missed as he forgot to adjust for the elk’s walking speed. At least the arrow was tangled in a nearby spruce for easy recovery.

With another hour of growing light Novrus could hear the elk running from him. There was no sighting. Novrus decides to leave the stalking. There was still enough daylight to make a search and smooth an anvil stone for the smithy. He places out an offering of berries.

“This hunt goes to you good elk.”

The hunting had been challenging. He had come here to smith. There was a lot of food for himself in the cellar. Who would have eaten the elk missed yesterday? Him? Perhaps trade it to the Owl.

Approaching the near hill Novrus entered a patch of licheneous pine. He hadn’t often gone to this northern side. There was good fortune in finding a large stone smoothed over most of it. It still needed grinding, shaping and freeing from the frosty ground to be of use. The sun rose at last. Its low arc past to be falling away before Novrus felt finished preparing the anvil stone. After a meal in the forest he made his way home.

Day 2 of the 8th week before mid winter.

Home again Novrus had placed the anvil stone in the smithy. With his diverse resources he forged an iron hammer as a step up from his stone one. The stone one was still of use. After all a well stocked smithy would have a wall of hammers.

He used the best of the blooms for the hammer head. He had figured the hammer quality would impact the quality of all things to come. Pardon the pun. It came out with a glistening infused face of steel. Its balance superb. The ring of it on the stone matching the sing of the best hammers from home. Truly a fine iron hammer.

The next day Novrus woke up the rest of his children. That is to say the four other iron blooms.

Day 5 of the 8th week before mid winter.

With the smithy equipped Novrus picked out the wrought iron he had shaped from the blooms yesterday. Today was finally the day to make the cooking pot of his dreams. His hand flowed in blows. The hammer sang. The bellows howled, and wheezed at the seams, the charcoals glowed and it seemed like spirits were watching over his shoulder.
Inspiration took hold as he welded the billets which began to sing to him of their shape. Hammer blows on the anvil stone became curves. Curves became bends. A protrusion on the anvil stone became where the swelling opening began. A dip in the anvil stone where the hammer blows expanded the shape. Novrus felt the trance of when he was worthy battle. Slamming hammer sung through the woods.

His breath calmed as hammer came to rest. Belting his hammer Novrus studied the pot. It was well balanced, even curved and small studs on the bottom would keep it balanced with coals packed around it. Very fine indeed.

A wide smile came across his face.

He hunched forward breathing in deep.

Arching backwards Novrus let out a roar of victory that filled the sky.

<Novrus fine cooking pot>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 01, 2018, 04:49:19 AM
Tonights meal would be barley porridge cooked in the newly self-made cooking pot.

Next Novrus desired to make a carving axe. This would take almost all of the remaining iron billets. The carving axe’s thinner blade would be so much better for fine work. Such work included making the interfaces between the logs of the next building.

This night Novrus merged iron billets into a lump. Then he made the hammer sing to bend the lump to bulky on one side and a thin spread on the other. The bulk was parted to have a hole which would receive the axe head. The spread is where Novrus welded by heat and hammer the one steel billet he had made. This would be the axe’s cutting edge. This took into the dark of night.

Returning inside the house Novrus inhaled the smell of barley porridge. He consumed the entire pot full. The soothing texture of the porridge shuffled down his throat. It warmed his belly. A cut of meat and swig from a water skin finished his meal.

In the morning Novrus returned to working on the carving axe. The iron socket didn’t come out as straight as he had thought in the dark of night. It might throw off the swing of the axe. It was good fortune to have noticed it now. Novrus took care to adjust the shape of the handle to fit into socket. A wedge of wood on the top of the shaft pushed the mid-socket wood to tightly grip the axehead’s tilted socket. The carving axe came out decently though.  He swung it through the air to test the feel. Novrus was pleased.

A pair of the best boards were put to the test. With the young carving axe Novrus turned them into an excellent pair of fox boards. He even carved in the initial N in a circle to show he had made them. There were smooth and slippery all the more to force a fox to jump. The bait center had a saw tooth like ridge to better hold the bait. This too would force the fox to jump with the risk of its paws catching in the side notches. These two fine boards Novrus put out to replace those made in the warm days. Those then he set aside for future trade.

The next day Novrus set to making a small knife. One for fine work. He managed it though the blade didn’t come out of the quench with quite the right curve. Still it was good to have a spare. It would still be handier for eating then the broad skinning knife he had left home with in the spring.

Day 1 of the 7th week before midwinter

Novrus was now endeavoring to make broad head arrows. These are more likely to make an animal, like those elk, bleed. The blood loss weakens the animal and leaves its own trail to follow. The last of his iron children yielded five broad heads.
Novrus still had things to learn of his anvil stone’s spirit. Each such stone had its own shapes like each woman had its own curves. The broad heads he finished had wobbling in thing. That would affect their flight and cutting.
For arrow shafts he tried checking his stacks of branches like those from the birch he felled for the canoe and bark for containers. Those he found had their own inconsistencies or showed cracks from being in the drying piles.

Considering his options Novrus realized his new tools, carving axe and knife, could come to his aide. Novrus went to the stockpiles for his best boards, just like he had for the new fox traps. With the carving axe’s thin blade he split off sections. With the small knife he trimmed them to shape. Half of these arrow shafts had issues while the others had good lines. One pleased him with a shape that would make his grandfather proud.

He took a break. Walking to the lake side he checked on where the hemp was retting. He had put down between two specific trees. A hole was broken in the ice. Reaching a quickly chilled hand down he could feel the plants coming apart. They needed a bit more time yet. Bringing his hand up he rubbed it on outer furs before bringing it inside his fur shirt to warm.

Now came the selection of feathers for the arrows. He had many types in storage. Raven, grouses, mallard, capercaillie, swan, goshawk and eagle owl. Raven had been there playing games with him when catching that elk and bear in fields. Yet Raven might be risky for those games. Swan had come to sing. Swan was never caught in his traps. Swan had been like a new friend. Of all the feathers it was Swan he had the least of. Were these arrow heads good enough for Swan? The predator goshawk and eagle hand their energies of hunting. Owl’s have magic for the night. These arrows likely would be fired in the day. Novrus decided on goshawk feathers.

To secure the arrowheads and feathers Novrus gathered alder tree bark in the house’s stores. He separated the bark into thin fibers. Different trees providing different resources. These fibers needed to light to limited any disruption to the arrow’s flight. The best of the fibers were picked. Many more were put on a wall peg near the table.

He worked into the evening on the five broad head arrows. He worked in the smithy for better light while the sun was still up. The smithy L shaped walls broke up the wind. His furs kept in his heat. The shafts were given a thin notch for the broad head which was then tied in with fiber. The rest of the fire was used to keep the goshawk feathers in their seats. When finished he gave each a light hand toss to see how they flew. Three flew smoothly with the other two tilting slightly. For his first fletchings since leaving home three out of five wasn’t bad at all.

The arrows ended the iron smithy he could do. There was over a month to winter. Novrus was proud. He had done all the things in time to have made several useful things. The cooking pot to nourish him, the axe and knife to shape things and the arrows to catch things. He slept well that night.
The next day Novrus sorted his collection of furs between sleeping, trading and crafting. He used the lynx fur to make a mask where it seemed the lynx was looking at you. Hare furs where made into a neck cover, a niska.

Then he started on the skis that would soon be needed. Reindeer furs for the boots. His cuttings and carvings skipped at places leaving unwanted gouges. They wouldn’t glide perfectly but they should. He shaped a slender trunk for the ski stick. Bird skins were seamed together for the leather disk that would catch more snow and the loop for the wrist. He hadn’t picked the right trunk as it had cracks to clean out making it thinner and weaken than he was used to.

Going outside Novrus fitted his feet into the ski boards. Taking the ski stick in hand he skidded along the now fist deep snow. Round and round he went in the clearing left by Heandarak’s chopping. Novrus skied to the soaing hemps judging them still unready. He pushed back to the house stopping well before arriving. He was panting. He really hadn’t done much skiing in his youth. This would take practice. Maybe when he knew more about skiing he could make more appropriate skis too.

Taking the skis off it was for now easier to just walk in the shallow snow. Novrus chuckled.

“Two weeks. That is how long the hemp has been soaking to break up in retting. I’m counting the passage of the days by major chores.”

Day 3 of the 7th week before midwinter

Novrus huffed on the mire. Skis slid on the shallow snow most of the time. Notches from crafting flaws would catch on roots or rock at unexpected moments. He had fallen twice this morning. It was good practice for him. Balancing on the long ski while pushing with the short wasn’t natural to him yet. His ski pole braced one hand while the butt of fighting spear balanced the other.

Grandfather had said, “You can’t shot a bow with one hand but you can throw a spear.”

Novrus could make distance on the snow. He hadn’t seen anyone for a long time. Thinking of Flower Wild he found his heart yearning to share and hear stories. He could tell them of his smithing and the drowned red foe. He could of here their songs. Novrus gathered a few of the trade goods, leaving the best furs in case foreign traders came close. As the sunlight starting to make its faint winter shimmer he skid east for Flower Wild.

The first one he skid up to was old man Duongi.

Doungi looked to Novrus raising his chin as if to command respect.

“There are mysteries to the forest young man. We have been waiting to see if you could survive into winter. If you are too stay in these northlands there are things to be learned. Can you handle learning?”

“Yes. I have been learning. Let me show you,” said Norvus.

“No. That is not what I meant,” said Duongi, “Come sit in our kota. Round the fire you will be schooled.”

Novrus went with him under the leather hides of their kota. Duongi began to explain the spirits of realms. He explained the use of precious silver on an ant hill at night to make welcome a grey man of the forest. Novrus knew many such places but had never had silver.

The other villagers came to visit Novrus amid their own chores. Eventualy Heandarak arrived. Novrus explained the house and the smithy. Heandarak had quality hare hides. These Novrus traded for by giving over his earlier two fox boards and a trio of squirrel hides. Novrus hoped traders mike like the hare furs.

At noon Novrus concluded his visit with the flower. Everyone was happier to have seen each other surviving the winter in good health. Novrus waved to Heandarak who waved back. The journey was calm through the winter wonderland.

Day 5 of the 7th week before midwinter

Finally the hemp had been retted. The ice was cleared away. Frigid fingers searched in the shallow water. Weighting stones were pushed aside. Novrus cursed as he had to plunge his hands in to get the plant matter. Putting them in his birch-bark backpack he eagerly made for the warmth of the house.

He stacked the soggy hemp inside the workroom. That is the smoker side of the house. There was no meat smoking right now. The dry winter air meant meat could be dried outside now. Water puddled on the floor. Using the shovel he pushed it out the smoker side door. He had that door to air the smoker. It was proving useful in general cleaning to. Remains of fur cuttings became a sponge to soak up the last drops. The floor wasn’t built like a ship so some water had simply dripped to the earth below.
Norvus guessed it would take a week for the soggy hemp to dry. Now among the chores was to make the various weaving tools grandmother and mother had used. Novrus put his hand behind his head. It would challenging to remember the shapes to carve as he hadn’t used them like his sister had. There were winter nights she had looped threads round and round his two held out hands.

His diet now had porridges mixed among the normal meat and turnip diet that had sustained him so long. He even made a berry porridge with flour to thicken it. The variety was certainly good to enjoy.

<Novrus hemp soaked>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 02, 2018, 05:15:10 AM
Day 7 of the 7th week before midwinter

Dabbling in different tasks Novrus made a set of bone headed arrows. These he intended to use for practice. For these he used common grouse feathers. Five came out well enough for sale or hunting. The other five had bends or his knife left a nick in the shaft making it prone to breaking.

The south side of the house had no windows nor doors. Instead it had a few trees sheltering the tree trunk benches used to relax. Progressing south Novrus felled a few trees for the stockpiles. This gave him a decently long shooting length. A rise in the ground was the limit he could work with. It came to almost thirty five strides. Firing five of the less balanced arrows they skidded in the air. He only managed to recover two of the five. The next day he found another off to the other side. He decided to make blunt arrows for future practicing.

Restocking trimmed logs had also begun. What had been stocked had been used in making the smithy with its two walls and a roof design. The next house would be the largest yet. Pacing the perimeter then multiplying he figured on over a hundred trees for the outer walls. That would be a lot of work.

Originally Novrus had wanted to use that natural slope for an entrance ramp. That would have put the door on the east toward the rising sun. Now he desired the door should face toward the other buildings. This would be west. The three buildings would then have a common courtyard between them.

There was still pit traps to patrol and reset. As he had expected with the lakes frozen the animals weren’t running into them now. Skiing around the homestead was slowly improving his skills. He had adjusted the foot bindings today. That should help too.

The rain barrel on the sauna-smoker house was useful. Each day he chipped the new formed ice off to refill his water skin. Each time he lit a fire a little snow on the roof melted. More water came from the sun’s race hitting the roof snow to also melt and refill the barrel.

Novrus looked over his stockpile. There was still a stash of clay. He had medicines now plus flavorful leaves. Certainly a thing to make would be a small pot for boiling one dosage of leaves, a kettle. Almost all the rest could go into making a large clay container with handles, an amphora. This would be used for the storage of crops from his field. One could pour the seeds into the cellar but seeds on the walls tended to absorb condensation and start to grow.

With the amphora filling with barley flour Novrus gave his mother’s recipe a try. Setting a flat stone on the edge of the fireplace it would become very hot. You can roast meat on it or you could try baking. Mixing a dough of fresh ground barley flour with water he laid them out as rectangles on the heating stone. He put a scoop of berries on an unused part of the stone. Then he crushed them into paste. Using the flour rectangle he scooped the paste up and wrapped the flour to hold the berries. He pressed them back into rectangular shape then back onto the stone they went. Each turn over was then broken open, in this case cut, to let steam from the berries out. Putting the stone closer to the center of the fire  he left them to bake.

They turned out wonderfully. By the time they were done they sloshing crushed berries had been rendered drier into a sticky paste. The flour had a hard crust over soft bread. Biting in there was a crunch to the crust, smooth soft bread then sticky berry jam inside. Delightful!

An anxiety to explore kept grabbing at him. Novrus spent one day skiing  to the northwest. He still hadn’t seen game in the distance. Was his stead close to a migration path? Was it too out of the way because of the rivers? Was the forest withholding from him? He couldn’t be sure. His range of travel was limited by his skiing ability. Both he and skis had room for improvement. Novrus recalled the image of grandfather in his old age gliding like a goshawk through the forests. Novrus focused his mind on the memory. He searched through the image for ways to improve his stride. One day he might get to be just as swift.

Day 6 of the 6th week before midwinter

Finally the retted hemp had dried to be workable. In the warmth of stead Novrus got to work in the smoker side. As before with no meat smoking it was quite pleasant to work here. The table and bench made the work more efficient. Winds didn’t penetrate the walls except when he desired the shutter open for light. Even without his fur overcoat nor a fire in the fireplace Novrus was sometimes sweating in his work. Outside the temperature dropped further leaving indoor Novrus merely warm without sweat. Stocks of food were plentiful with a host lingonberry turnovers and barley hardtack added to the meats, turnips and porridges.

Returning to the hemp he used a spindle and distaff to spin up the crushed, dried and before that soaked hemp into threads. Novrus thinks of the work yet to come. He would need a loom. By the next day the loom was sitting in the work area awaiting the sets of threads that would be crisscrossed over it. It took up a lot of space to use it. When idle the loom would be put up into the rafters of this tall house.

(Note: A minor hiccup recovered from as the ‘spindle and distaff’ counted as a wooden stake when I build a fence. Fortunately I realized it and it was nearby. When you dismantle the fence you get the parts back. The tool was safely in the house when the fence was rebuilt outdoors.)

Meanwhile he had cooked a batches of durable hard tack. A portion was wrapped away by the sleeping bunk as emergency food should he become greatly ill. Others were wrapped away in the cellar for the same reason and duplicity of location should an animal raid one stash or the other. This was something mother had taught them to do.

There was a night of worry. The howling of the wind sounded different. The shutters flapped and banged against their restraint. A fluff of snow even invaded the house. Curled into the corned of his sleeping bunk Norvus reached for an axe with one hand and that red foe’s shield with the other. Was he getting a visit from an angry spirit? He waited. The howling passed. The shutters banged no more.

In the morning he learned the reason for the anger. Two birds had died in the traps near the camp. They had been caught a day or two again. During the time Novrus was building the loom and spinning thread those birds had been suffering. They had died of thirst and pain. The forest had good reason to be angry. There were also live animals, one of them a small hare.

Novrus skinned them all. The hare was butchered first. As a living one it felt closest to the journey. Novrus went into the spiritual circle he used for rarely. A smokey fire of spruce was set. A cut from the hair set onto it. The smoke blackened as the hare’s spirit rose away guiding, he hoped, all the others with it.

Novrus made sure to patrol the pit traps today. Though they produced no large game. One had a squirrel near it. He cleaned them, rebalanced the cross bars and set new spruce on them. The bait, untouched and frozen, was put back on.

Day 4 of the 5th week to midwinter point

Novrus pulled the loom down from the rafters. He leaned against the wall. One by one hemp threads were connected. Novrus began the labor of working the shuttle back and forth to weave linen. Slamming the threads together was harder than he thought. Into the evening he worked. His hands were getting sore. How did grandmother, mother and sister do this all day? He finished his sheet. It was of acceptable quality. It lacked decoration of course. Checking his supply Novrus was puzzled that he didn’t have enough hemp threads to properly refit the loom for another sheet.

The next morning the first thing he decided to make was a set of undergarments. The ladies definitely new this craft better than he. Putting them on the seems seemed to rub his thighs. In time he hoped the roughness would wear down or his thighs toughen up. Still it was embarrassing to think just how many lone travelers go about their lives without undergarments. These covered him from neck to wrist to ankle. With the scraps left he put together hand wraps that would fit under the leather paws which in turn could go into over sized fur mittens.

Going out skiing to try them out the rough edges quickly wore in. A squirrel in a trap, still alive, made Novrus think the forest had forgiven him. Once again it seemed like a good life for him in this unreal world.

Skiing up to the hill was easier than a week ago. Up there he saw the cloaks of traders to the north. Novrus raced downhill and to the stead to get the trade furs. Thanks to the recent sorting it was quick to grab then. He even wrapped up the elk fur. His pride for the bear fur from his first one slain was too much to even think of bringing it. Besides sleeping on it these past months was part of what this home. Skiing back the challenge now became finding them. At times he could spot them in the distance while their tracks remained elusive. By noon he had to admit the chance was missed.

Felling trees and trimming them to logs was a chore still in demand. Many more would be needed for the second house. Choosing a tree Novrus worked until he was going to drop asleep. It was a time for a test. Moving a safe distance away, lest the partially cut tree blow over in the night, Novrus slept outside with no shelter. He wanted to see how well his undergarments, layers and furs did. It was snowing too.

When he woke the snow was gathered on top of him. That is a good sign. It means his heat is trapped inside rather than melting the snow. Getting up the furs did crinkle with ice. A little had melted and refrozen. All the while Novrus had felt warm. Pleased at his ability to face the winter he continued his chores and baking.

<Novrus tested sleep>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 02, 2018, 06:57:07 PM

The next days the sun was above less and less. In his chores Novrus would trim and fetch one or two logs for the new house per day. Food was good. He had managed to stumble through his mother’s long bread recipe. Roughly a pound of bread was made. It was nourishing, filling and easy to bake on top of hot rock like he had done with the small berry turnovers.

He tried searching the nearby wilds for large game or traders. A few times he saw traders in the distance but they seemed to move like ghosts. Large game remained unseen.

 Knowing his clothing layer had passed the test his confidence led him to lay down shelters a winter’s short day ski out. These he placed where for one reason or another one could see a large swath of countryside. These were like blinds for watching game. Following grandfather’s advise the shelters where in clumps of trees with limited approaches. Those approaches could be rigged with snares, traps or other noise makers to alert him danger.
He set trail markers so he, or those with similar upbringing, could find them. A tripod of three branches or spruce cuttings as the head of an arrow with a straight line of individual stands for the shaft. Move from shaft to head to find the marked destination.
A few stones or rocks where gathered though snow coverings prevented gathering enough for proper fire rings. If a tree had fallen down nearby Novrus moved it by the shelter to process it for a little firewood. He or another travel in cold or with frostbite would find those a boon.

Day 7 of the 4th week before midwinter point.

Rising in the morning Novrus figured this outer shelter was outside the lands used by the Flower Wild. It could prove awkward if he moved closer to them in the south east from here. Unsure of his inspiration Novrus skid eastward staying north of Flower Wild’s range. He pondered laying a far out camp this direction. It was just something calling him east.

He spied traders north along a mire! At last! He had indeed brought his trade furs with him on this exploration. He started skiing toward them.

That is when a red foe was seen. Novrus skid harder to get to the traders. He had to warn them they where heading west into an ambush!

Novrus closed up a group of unfamiliar High Hold folk. He warned them but with their numbers they didn’t seem afraid. Fulwin had a silver ring trade. The sort of thing the Grey Man would want. Try as he might the smaller furs weren’t enough. Novrus gave over the fine elk fur he had taken at the start of winter. Try as he might he couldn’t any of the other iron trade goods in exchange. Gerward accepted an arctic fox fur a round shield. A spare wasn’t bad to have as shields do get hacked in battle.

Novrus still felt wary about that red foe being close. The spirits had called him to get the silver. The red foe may well also be part of the test. An evil spirit trying to stop him. The red foe seen might be alone but it doesn’t mean he couldn’t signal a war party.

He prepared himself to give battle.

<Novrus got silver ring>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 02, 2018, 07:21:10 PM
By now the traders were dallying over a frozen lake. They roared with laughter when one or the other fell. They were having sliding competitions.

Novrus skid westward for the red foe. At a hundred yards the red foe started north our of the sparse mire for dense spruce. Novrus searched the wood for a trail or the red foe. Had red foe called on one of his own spirits to blow upon the snow trail?

Into the darkening evening he searched. Novrus also tried picking up the trail of the High Holders to no avail. A wolf at less then a dozen yards peered at him through the snow. Was this the red foe’s spirit? Or had the forest sent them to also battle the red foe.

Novrus followed the tracks. It seemed to be a lone wolf, not a pack. Surely the forest would have sent a pack against the red foe. This lone wolf could it be the red foe transformed? Or a servant of the red foe like we kept dogs?

Novrus kept a pursuit. At times the wolf seemed to double back on itself. He tried a spear throw. The range was long and the wolf alert. One time the wolf growled an angry warning at him. Only was it seen at the dim edges of sight.

Out on the open space of a frozen lake that is when Novrus saw two wolves at once. This then must be a pack hunting red foe. He hoped anyway. He stopped letting them set the nature of their interaction. The wolves moved off, came back, moved off then disappeared again. They seemed to be watching him. It might well be more than two wolves. Novrus slid off to the south. He even made a circle on the lake ice to see if any where following him. They weren’t.

It was time then to let the forest do its thing. It had called Novrus to silver. The red foe had hoped to stop him. Now the forest through the wolves was allowing Novrus to move off home. He left out a cut of smoked elk meat in thanks.

He tried to get back to the last made shelter. Night was too dark. Finding a narrow between two rows of trees he placed noise making snares to either side before sleeping in the middle.

The next day he made back for his camp. He skid up the hill to have a proud look over his lands. There was a red foe near the homestead!

<Novrus redfoe by home>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 02, 2018, 07:45:36 PM
A boldness came over him. His home was in danger. His house spirit friend, the forest spirit, raven, swan all came to mind. The battle calm was different this time. His face curled in a snarl. A wolf growl came from his throat. The growl taught to him last night.

He skid over searching the spot. Again red foe had gone into hiding. Novrus swept over the area. He checked the pit traps nearby. Nothing there. He skid home to get foods then skid out again. Finally he found human tracks. They milled about the trees quite a lot. Like red foe was searching or perhaps there was more than one. Skilled by tracking elk Novrus found the trail leading out. Within a minute he saw red foe.

This red foe had no metal armor. He had a scimitar in a scabbard balanced on the other side by probably what is a knife. Red foe carried neither bow nor arrow nor skis.

Novrus started catching his breath from the fatigue of skiing. He held the ski pole in his left hand with his spear in his good throwing hand. Red foe was moving about without knowing Novrus had come. When red foe’s back was turned or passing behind trees Novrus slid forward. In the far north winter the sun was already into dim twilight even though it was only late afternoon. Again Novrus slid forward on the skis.

Red foe turned toward him. Novrus in his fur clad and pole using form remained as still as the trees around him. Red foe stepped closer.

At four strides Novrus hurled the spear.

Red foe’s head tilted in surprise. For him a tree had just come alive! If there was more light one could have seen his shocked face. Thud and cracking sounds merged as the spear drove through the sternum into the heart. Red foe hissed in attempting to scream. He fell. The black of red in twilight spread quickly over the snow. He was dead in one hit.

Novrus snarled to urge red foe’s spirit to be gone. He would still do funeral rights but red foe did have to leave!

<Novrus 3rd Nerj by spear>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 12:09:36 AM
Novrus prepared the two trees for the funeral pyre. Spruce branches gathered. The red foe stripped of his gear. Novrus prodded at the dried meat cuts the red foe had. Something about the smell. It was wolf meat!

Just like the wolves that had been there yesterday. Novrus was glad to have slain this red foe.

One portion of meat was given to the spirits. The rest were burned in the pyre. Novrus didn’t want to put those into his body. Not today. Not with the help of wolves yesterday.

At the stead Novrus started a fire. A meal of berry porridge and baked long bread was started. An owl hooting shook Novrus. The ritual of silver was to be done at night. There was still time to do it. It was only late evening. There was an ant nest near one of the pit traps. The closest pit trap fence actually.

Novrus made the trek. He prepared torches and a small fire to light one. He put the silver ring on the ant nest and waited. Past dawn he collapsed to sleep in the snow. No one had come and the silver ring was still there.

He tried to recall what had been said to him. He pondered what he did wrong. Did the ring have to be destroyed as a sacrifice? He was used to sacrificing meat by putting it out for the forest and animals to eat. Perhaps the silver needed to be taken apart to return to its original ore state.

The next night Novrus knelt over the ant hill. With his small knife he shaved off silver to fall down the ant holes. He made more shavings putting them in the openings for the ants to remove at their whim.

 He began his vigil. A strong presence seemed to join him. He did not see a face though he looked to and fro. Of course the Grey Man would be a better hider in the forest than in even Novrus had been against the red foes. So it did not surprise him not to see him though he had wished to.

Perhaps those of Flower Wild could explain this.

He started the journey and spied a badger along the way. He gave chase hoping to out ski the badger. The powerful beast wasn’t hindered by the snow. When he broke off the chase Novrus was too tired to make the trip. He returned to the stead. He was so tired in just slept in the smithy half-building.

Arriving in the darkness it was annoying them to keep waking the villagers. Still the tolerated it hearing he was trying to understand the vision. Dougni though added little. Novrus was still puzzled. There was still some of the silver ring left. Did he have to get rid of it all? The lose of the metal didn’t trouble him. He just wasn’t sure what he was doing.

Dearsu caught up to Novrus. There was a wounded traveler again. Flower Wild being the most souther of the Owl tribes must keep being the first ones survivors stumble upon.

The traveler had been wounded by bear. Bears being one of the few things to trouble a skilled man in the woods. Possibly it was the same bear as before or the forest was growing in angry bears. That might be the red foe’s doing. Novrus agreed to seek the matter out, return a lost axe and if possible bring down the bear. This time it was to the south west. Novrus recalled making a shelter in that area once. The rivers had many branches with several rapids.

Novrus thought it wise to have a companion. Of those he spoke to, and it was almost all the village, Nilla an peasant agreed to come. Novrus loaned him a handaxe. Nilla wasn’t well equipped but could help haul. Mostly Novrus wanted a safe guard from attacks in the night from the bear. Nilla could do that, though don’t tell him. Heandarak was away working in the forest.

A spruce mire with a river to the east was what the survivor recalled. The river branches were around a half dozen. Almost all the west banks were spruce mire. Finding the old shelter made by Novrus was easy, it had trail markers and was next to one of the rapids. They spent hours of daylight searching.

Once again coming upon Novrus’s camp they settled down in the late afternoon. Firewood was waiting yet with there still daylight Novrus split some more. They stocked the fire ring. As Novrus was dressed to sleep outside Nilla could set his sleeping fur in the shelter. Into the evening they chatted while Novrus carved Nilla a wooden bowl. Part of the payment for his services and a useful thing to use in the camp.

When the slept Nilla shook Novrus awake.

“Its the snow. Too much,” said Nilla.

Novrus had trouble moving with all the snow half burying him. The two would spend the rest of the night cramped in the shelter.

In the morning the ate from their packs and enjoyed the cool water from the rapids. Novrus thought about his clay kettle pot. He should remember to travel with it. A little hot beverage can be wonderful on these long treks.

Dawn was still forming when they found the blood-scrape amid the trees. A second by the river. Novrus used to figure out a direction of travel.

Spruce burst apart as the bear smashed Nilla with its paw!

It was upon them!

Novrus moved for a clear throw at the bear.

Already the bear had pounded Nilla in to the ground. Its hind feet jumping off from Nilla to charge at Novrus. The thrown spear went high. Nilla moaned in a daze of pain.

Now it was Novrus against alone against the bear.

<Novrus nilla mangled>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 01:08:50 AM
Snapping bear jaws dove for Novrus’s hip. He swung his free hand for his round shield. Coming off the strap the round shield was too low. The bear’s teeth bit down yanking on furs. Only furs. The layers were being tugged but none of it was Novrus’s flesh.

Switching his shield to his free hand was done as the bear let go. Perhaps it noticed the lack of blood taste. Its forepaw knocked across Novrus’s chest. The tattered red foe cuirass gave its last as the bear claws caught on it. Novrus was partly lifted off the ground as the bear pulled away what it thought was the man’s hide. The bits of cuirass leather were useless, given itself in another unwounded hit.

Novrus crudely shifted the ski stick more out of the need to have a weapon hand than an attack. It bounced side ways off the bear. Rising on its legs the bear toward over Novrus. Both paws rushing forward. Novrus ducked behind the shield and the one paw skidded off.

Novrus was off balance but still standing. The other paw turned back in a fresh attack smacking Novrus in the torso despite.

Behind the bear there was a glint of light off steel. Nilla grabbed spruce branches to pull himself up. Nilla was still able to stand! Nilla’s eyes were as a drowsy man with all the pain. First he had to get armed. Spotting the hand axe Nilla picked it up. That was when the sun had glinted off the hand axe.

Beside the shield appeared the bear’s jaws! This time the jaw landed a painful bite on Novrus’s chest. The many layers reduced the wound otherwise he might now be dead.

Finally Novrus got a weapon in hand. The carving axe paired with the roundshield.

The bear shifted its rump against a tree. It to was now aware it was fighting two. One of those was Novrus who had so far sustained strikes which should have mangled wild game. It turned to snarl at Nilla who in the bears mind should know better than to stay.

Swift with a woodcutter’s powerful arm Novrus chopped into the bear’s exposed side. The blade cutting hard on the hip. The bear roared with pain then into renewed fury. It was as if to say the battle was on.

A swatting paw reached for Novrus. Novrus was on his guard now, as awkward as it was on skis. He got the shield edge punched into the bear’s forearm skidding the strike into empty air.

A quick reply was swung at the bear’s head. It wove the head round for a miss. Yet it made the bear stumble. Nilla was swinging too. As much as Nilla could in his wounded state that is. Sensing the weaker of the two the bear took interest in Nilla.

“Here bear!” shouted Novrus. As the layer clad of the men Novrus had the equivalent of armor to sustain blows. Novrus, Nilla and the bear cleaved for each with no connections.

Snow flew off the spruces where the attacks went. Then again they all kept at the battle.

Novrus’s axe return swing clipped a branch and twisted his arm oddly. The bear snapped at him. The shield in the way lasted a moment as the rare momentum of the bear’s slam took the shield out of his hand. The bear went to bit but it stumbled. The hip wound and a wound from Nilla crippling its walking.

Instincts told Novrus to get his shield. Expecting the crush of a bear on him instead the bear was wrecking havoc on Nilla! Nilla, unseen, cursed in pain. A flash of steel followed showed the Owl villager was still capable of wounding the bear.

“Fight on!” shouted Noruvs.

“I know!” replied Nilla.

Swish of awe, swipe of paw and snap of jaws. Jaws crush onto Novrus’s hip. Novrus falls down. The bear lets go to fight off Nilla. In twisting round the bear’s cleaved hip gives out and it too falls onto the snow. Nilla’s axe swings through the air again.

This fury is horrendous.

Seeing the lame bear Novrus realizes he can kill it with arrow fire from the laminated northern bow.

Novrus shifts backwards to rearm. As he prepares the bear is all over Nilla. Finally the bear’s bite tears away Nilla’s throat.

Roaring with blood coated jaws of victory the bear lumbers with a dragging rump toward Novrus. Novrus’s first arrow flies piercing a foreleg. All the better to cripple it. The bear’s chest and jaws smack on the ground in its stumble. Angry eyes still glare back.

Novrus took a few steps back for safety. The bear repeated attempts to stand. Had Novrus stayed in melee those jaws and claws would be tearing him. Alas, those moments for distance had meant an end for Nilla.

Another misses. Novrus reminds himself to calm down. Pain was biting him but he didn’t think his wounds fatal.

The bear sniffed at the snow as if trying to understand the situation.

An arrow into its fur made the matter clear! The bear roared crumpling again on its troubled legs.

Novrus now reached into his quiver for an arrow bearing goshawk feathers. At its tip a broad head of his own forging in his own smithy. With purpose Novrus drew on the string of the Flower Wild made bow. The Novrus made broad head arrow dashed across the sky. True and straight it dove deep into the bear’s shoulder. A wide flow of blood burbled from the wound. The bear’s head slumped on the snow.

Novrus paused to wait. His hand ready to knock another arrow. Blood still came from the broad head’s plunge. A few seconds more and the bear’s eyes searched the forest.

Novrus waited. It was still possible for it to kill.

The bear roared as if to say stay away. The bleeding had slowed.

Novrus, still standing clear, knocked another broad head. The arrow was evaded as the bear managed somehow to make advance. Belly crawling on the ground it now understood its death was for Novrus to give. Its life would only be if Novrus was gone.

The bear’s lurching movement meant another miss. Novrus circled to free one from a tree. As he moved to get sight of the bear it had almost caught up to him!

Backing up Novrus took no more chances. He began to volley arrows again and again. He started with the practice blunts in some hope of limiting damage to the bear’s hide. With the blunts expended the bear had stopped reacting to strikes. Its chest was still heaving in breath.

Cautiously Novrus drew his knife and closed up. He drew the edge along the bear’s neck then stood back.

Still the bear didn’t release its spirit. Novrus advanced again make more neck cuts to bleed out the bear.

Giving time for the bleeding and passing Novrus gathered what arrows he could, his spear and puzzled what to do about Nilla. Novrus decided to take Nilla’s own hand axe and knife back to the village for his kinfolk. The handaxe from Novrus had been on loan for fighting. The clothes would be left with the burial. The large stash of meat ought to also go to Nilla’s kin. The gift of the wooden bowl was to be burned in the pyre as Nilla’s.

With the bear still not expired Novrus began pounding on its skull. Finally, after all this time, the bear’s spirit left.

Novrus now stopped to examine his wounds. He had gotten off rather lightly. Two sets of scratches and a pair of bruises. Nilla had lost his life.

He still had to find the adventurer’s campsite.

<Novrus ok Nilla dead>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 03:09:06 AM

The funeral pyre was lit. By its light Novrus started butchering the bear.

“You know Nilla. I’m wise to you,” said Novrus, “You just found a way out of carrying all this heavy bear! That’s why wasn’t it!”

Novrus laughed. He hoped Nilla would laugh too. Pairs of tears dripped down Novrus’s cheek as he forced himself to laugh. Last night he had been carving the gift bowl that now burned on a funeral pyre with his friend and neighbor.

That evening Novrus skid into Flower Wild. On his back was the freshly butchered bear. Half of which he would leave here along with Nilla’s knife and handaxe. He tracked down the elder Antti. Antti was already guessing why Novrus had returned alone. Novrus explained.

“The bear is slain. So to is Nilla. He was first upon whom the bear ambushed. We fought. Vicious it was. Nilla had even pulled himself up from the first battering. He didn’t have to do that. He was brave. He wounded the bear many times. At last the bear got him. Then I got the bear. It was so wounded by our blows that it could only belly crawl. Out pacing it I filled it with my own made arrows fired by your made northern bow.

I regret not bringing Nilla back to you. He was a friend. The night before I carved him a bowl as a gift. It is not something I can show you. It was Nilla’s so it went on the funeral pyre. These though I bring back to you. His knife, his axe and his half of the bear meat. He carried many elk cuts with him. I will fetch them soon.

With respect let me leave you to your mourning. I don’t want to lose memory of where I hid the elk to bring you.”

Novrus stopped. It was a long speech.

Antti said, “We shall await your return.”

Novrus pushed off on his skis not wanting to spend the night here. They needed their space. Antti could explain it to the adventurer.

Novrus skied home. He washed the bear hide lest it rot before tanning. He wanted to smoke his share of the bear meat but stopped himself. He still had the bear skull. Leaving the meat in the cold he sought out a lone pine tree in the lichenous spreads near the hill That is where he put the bear’s skull. He didn’t want to show it the inside of his house lest the spirit reform into a bear that used doors!

Novrus set the meat to hang. The fire was re-lit. Chimney stones were shifted to shunt smoke into this half of the stead. He slept on his bunk. A gentle breeze seem to flutter over him. A kind welcome from the house spirit.

Awakening Novrus made off back to the battle site. Nilla’s elk cuts were gathered. A half hour of searching found the adventurer’s camp. He made his way back for the hours into late evening to arrive back at Flower Wild. The air smelled of herbs and bear meat.

The villagers were largely gathered outside around a fire. They were telling tales of Nilla. Seeing Novrus the shaman called him over in welcome.

“I am keeping my promise. Here are the elk cuts Nilla was carrying.”

It was over one hundred pounds of meat. Why had Nilla been carrying it? Novrus shared it out amongst the villagers. The axe was delivered to the recovering adventurer.

They served him mead. They insisted on hearing the full story this time. Novrus obliged them. How they chatted in friendship traveling. How Nilla woke him to avoid being buried in snow. How they had just started to puzzle out the blood scrapes when the bear burst upon Nilla. Novrus spoke of cleaving the bear’s hip with his carving axe and fighting it alone until suddenly Nilla pulled himself up. How they fought together against the bear. Novrus then being knocked down with empty hands. Nilla fought on while Novrus realized the bow was now the way. As the arrow knocked Nilla was slain. Then the bear’s determination to keep fighting. Then finally it came to the funeral pyre where the rites were properly observed. The goods being returned was where the village of Flower Wild came back into the story.

Flower Wild gave him welcome. Elder Antti openly inviting him to stay. Novrus felt no malice or treachery was about. He was glad the only neighbors still accepted him. It was surely in part to how he had labored to return goods to them rather than keeping them for himself or leaving them in the woods. They were also happy a bear that had been slain. It had at least twice attacked people.

On the way home Novrus thought he glanced a red foe in the distance south of the homestead. Searching though found no confirmation.

Returning home he finished tanning the new bear fur with its winter coat. Though evening had not yet set in Novrus strongly desired to sleep. With a bear fur below and thicker winter bear fur above Novrus slept in deep warmth.

Day 2 of the 2nd week before midwinter

Novrus woke in the warmth of the house, warm chimney and two bear furs. It made the outside all the more surprising. Even in all his layers Novrus felt cool as he moved around. If was working hard surely he would warm up.

This is when the thoughts of Nilla and the bear came to mind. Finding his mind replaying the battle Novrus went to the ceremonial circle. Spruce twigs burned to give curls of smoke up to the spirit world. A cut of bear meat in significance to the battle on his mind. Novrus sat cross legged on the snow before the smoky fire and burning meat.

“A survivor asks questions the dead do not,” said a Shaman to his grandfather.

Child Novrus remembered peering in through the shutter when the shaman was talking to grandfather. Grandfather was troubled at times with bad dreams. As a child he didn’t hear all of it. Grandfather had once been at a village a Nerjpez war party had attacked. The women escaped in different directions while the men folk fought. Fought and lost. Grandfather would ask what if had done this or that or gone there or so many other things.

That memory joined the spruce smoke rising up the circle.

Novrus felt shame for the moments of backing up to ready his bow. It was in those Nilla had finally died.

“If I had got with axe strikes rather than readying a bow Nilla would have lived a little longer. Would he have lived the day?” asked Novrus.

“No,” he said.

The answer had been immediate on his lips.

“We would have done small wounds to the bear. Each of its blows on Nilla were harmful. Each on me might have been slight. Nilla would not have lasted much longer and I might have been too wounded to bow.”

Only his voice was in the forest. Yet he felt answers were coming from a far.

“What if I had kept my spear rather than throwing it? Two hands for strong thrusts”

There was silence for a time.

An image of thrusting two handed at the bear came to mind. Nilla down on the ground slowly to rise as he had. Bear taking wounds deeper. Then bear without a shield in the way rendering wounds on Novrus. Novrus and Nilla then fighting side by side and it coming out much as it had.

Perhaps if the spear throw had hit it might have given them an edge. More like rebalance the bear’s advantage over Nilla.

“All paths were dangerous,” said Novrus.

“Nilla had known that. Nilla had come anyway.”

Novrus exhaled a sigh of relief. These thoughts calmed him. He could play out the battle in the mind now looking for improvements in skill, in technique and in tactics. No longer was he seeing shame in the day.

He let himself sit and cry for his lost friend Nilla while the spruce smoke rose.

<Novrus bear reflections>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 04:05:03 AM
With his spirit centered again Novrus thought of the Owl adventurer who had been under equipped to come. He decided to use his tools to make a bow for sorts for him. Probably as payment for traveling together in the future.

A large spruce branch was the core. Novrus let it soak a while in the rain barrel to restore it to wetness of warmer climbs. He shaped it while in the smithy. The resulting short bow was below in pull strength. It did shoot. The string was made from a leather cord from the recent bear adventure. An extra item found among the shelter.

Back at chores and log gathering Novrus adjusted the starter logs and boards to show the possible layout of the main house to come. A hall on the west side with the entrance to the courtyard. The north east corner would be a sleeping area for a family. The south east smaller room would probably become a store room or perhaps fit a well. A well would make them very difficult to besiege.

<Norvus house plans>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 05:36:20 PM
Day 5 of the 2nd week before midwinter

A few days of chores was slowing increasing the logs placed to mark out the main house to built. Food variety remained excellent. A recent grouse got in the homestead traps was made into a soup while a hare was roasted. The bear was hanging for smoke, though Novrus realized he could have hung it outside to dry. There was still smoked elk in the cellar. Long bread cooking was quickly through the barley flour quickly.

Skiing to the hill top as part of routine hunting patrol a red foe was spotted to the north east. Novrus didn’t feel great anger. Still it wasn’t good to let them come by unopposed.

<Novrus Nerj to NE 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 07:14:36 PM
Novrus took a breath. He would be closing on another fight with the most dangerous game, man. With calf deep snow the skis and his improved skill would give him an advantage during a long chase. With the skipole in his right hand he held his bow in the left. He wanted to be as ready as possible to shoot arrows. Skiing toward the siting he often could keep the red fore in sight.

Novrus stopped a hundred yards short. His breath was pacing with the day’s exertions.

“A steady hand shots a steady arrow,” grandfather would say.

Novrus leaned his shoulder against a pine. It was a resting standing pose. The bow and ski pole were still in hand. His pack still on his back. Clearing mind he focused on his breathing forcing deep in and outs. Recovering the stability of breath and heart beat would make his aim steady. Ears were alert for sound. He felt his spirit start to lift part way out of his body. An awareness sharing with the forest.

Once calm he slid forward slowly. This wasn’t a foe to charge in on. Skis kissing snow curved around a tree then another.

A wavy spruce gave away a large animal’s movement. Creeping on a hunt Novrus did the smallest push on the skis to look around a trunk. There indeed was the red fore.

 This one looked much more serious. He had a bow. A mid sized hunting bow. It wouldn’t be as powerful as the Flower Wild laminated bow yet might well pierce the hide layers Novrus had for armor. This red foe must be a chief with a metal helmet, metal lamellar curiass and even metal shin guards. Oddly there was no scimitar but an axe, knife and club hung from his belt. A chief on a hunting trip? It might also be a chief looking to avenge, or at least find out, about the missing red foe slain by Novrus.

Though the glimpse between spruce was narrow it was time to begin. The battle surely would be an exchange of arrows. Advantage to the first to strike home.

Strength of both arms to full powering the Flower wild bow. Its many parts ideal for where each sat. A great power was gained. One men do not hold for long. Novrus’s breath paused to aim. Away his fingers from the string. Away the arrow down the way.

The arrow nicked into a spruce along the crowded way.

Red foe in his helm was humming. He hadn’t heard the tree strike.

Second and third arrow passed by red foe’s blissful ignorance.

The fourth arrow flew past where the red foe’s helm was. He looked up in time to see the arrow going past.

What curse the red foe said in his own language was with clear intent as readied his own bow. The archery duel began.

Spruce on each side took the exchanged arrows. Novrus grabbed the red foe’s arrow and put it to his own bowstring.

Thud went an arrow into Novru’s belly. Before he could lose he took the hit.

Dripping blood onto the snow Novrus took a step back while knocking one of his own broad head arrows. Red foe had run up closer perhaps thinking Novrus was in retreat. Instead Novrus let fly the arrow.

Red foe ducked switching from bow to knife leaving the broad head to get lodged in a spruce trunk.

Red foe was on top of Novrus with a fury of knife blows before he could lose an arrow.

A strike to the hip made Novrus fall. While drawing his axe red foe picked up one of the arrows muttering something in their foreign language. Was he mocking his archery for so many misses?

Knife slashed and bleeding began to wear on him. He tried to back away. To start skiing. To where he could stop the bleeding. The red foe took out his bow. What he had said before now made sense.

“Try and run and I will just shot you.”

The dream went black…

[Game reload]

Tthe Nerjpez killed him on the first encounter. Novrus fired ~6 arrows with zero hits, took an arrow to the gut then got knifed a lot. Remember as writing project I’ll be carrying on to develop a longer story. If you disagree you can consider the story over at this point. This is actually the first reload during all these adventures.

I have decided to include the writing for the scene for the reader’s enjoyment and in accordance with this being a writing project.

A short rewind will happen for the next post.

<Novrus restore 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 09:08:43 PM

Novrus took a breath. He would be closing on another fight with the most dangerous game, man. With calf deep snow the skis and his improved skill would give him an advantage during a long chase. With the skipole in his right hand he held his bow in the left. He wanted to be as ready as possible to shoot arrows. Skiing toward the siting he often could keep the red fore in sight.

Novrus stopped a hundred yards short. His breath was pacing with the day’s exertions.

“A steady hand shots a steady arrow,” grandfather would say.

Novrus leaned his shoulder against a pine. It was a resting standing pose. The bow and ski pole were still in hand. His pack still on his back. Clearing mind he focused on his breathing forcing deep in and outs. Recovering the stability of breath and heart beat would make his aim steady. Ears were alert for sound. He felt his spirit start to lift part way out of his body. An awareness sharing with the forest.

Once calm he slid forward slowly. This wasn’t a foe to charge in on. Skis kissing snow curved around a tree then another.

Twisting through the spruce a clearing was criss crossed with man steps. This must have been red foe’s shelter. Novrus would track from here.

<Novrus tracking red 4>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 09:09:15 PM

Novrus could see a disturbance of snow to the south west. He moved to the edge of the clearing taking a moment to steady his breathing.

In that moment a red foe walked into view.

This one looked much more serious. He had a bow. A mid sized hunting bow. It wouldn’t be as powerful as the Flower Wild laminated bow yet might well pierce the hide layers Novrus had for armor. This red foe must be a chief with a metal helmet, metal lamellar curiass and even metal shin guards. Oddly there was no scimitar but an axe, knife and club hung from his belt. A chief on a hunting trip? It might also be a chief looking to avenge, or at least find out, about the missing red foe slain by Novrus.

Novrus stowed the ski pole for an arrow. He now waddled for position. The distance was now thirty strides. Mostly clear though a spruce and birch in the center make a full length shot have to go along a narrow. If the red foe charged the last ten strides would be in the open.

Novrus pulled his bow to power. His breath held for the moment to adjust the aim. Loose the arrow flew.

Over spruce branch and under birch the arrow flew. On it went arcing down. Red foe was was studying the snow for tracks. He started to kneel for a closer look. Plunging the arrow dashed into a thigh rather than calf. Red foe howled in surprise more than pain. Red foe turned his shoulder to bring out his bow.

As Novrus knocked an arrow red foe stepped behind the cover of a large spruce.

Redfoe was circling among the spruce. Novrus got nervous. This one was being clever. Red foe could get around to a shorter range. Novrus stepped forward then side stepped to a slightly different position.

Red foe came in his flanking movement now exposed by Novrus’s new position. Novrus let fly with the arrow stinging into red foe’s right knee. It struck touched in just above the metal shin guards. Only a single layer of linen obstructed the arrow’s energy. The arrow head sunk in onto a bit of shaft was within the knee.

Red foe was a great chieftain until he took an arrow to the knee.

Red foe fell in the snow hissing alive in pain. Novrus’s mind debated for a moment what to do next.

Bracing on his left leg red foe swung up his hunting bow putting an arrow in the string. Novrus remembered this was no bear but a man. Novrus stepped back from the man with a bow. The arrow slapped into a spruce near Novrus’s head.

Novrus fired back but the arrow skipped off a spruce branch. Cover was protecting both of them like this.

Red foe was scanning for his enemy. He must have been guessing Novrus would emerge somewhere else if he backed up again. Staying where he was Novrus let fly another arrow. It made it through the narrows between branches. The strike dove into red foe’s face below the line of the helmet upon his brow. Blood bubbled out of the now open cheek and red foe’s nostrils.

Red foe dropped onto the snow. His hunting bow escaped his hand. Bubbling nostril blood rose with each breath. As Novrus knocked an arrow Red foe’s arms moved to push him off the snow. He was still quite dangerous.

Recalling the fierce bear Novrus took a step back. Better to let the wound bleed a while than face a still dangerous foe.

Novrus began to circle for an exposed shot. Red foe was hauling himself half prone along the snow, much like the bear had belly crawled. Red foe knelt up on his good leg to fire an arrow!

The arrow struck a tree.

Novrus noticed the facial bleeding was calm now. The arrow had been pulled out. The smear of blood along red foe’s face carried down his front into the snow. It didn’t bubble anymore so Novrus thought it unlikely red foe would bleed out. Novrus slid backwards again.

Another arrow flew at Novrus. Indeed, red foe was like that bear still desperately fighting to kill in order to keep its own life.

Novrus waddled on skis farther out to circle. The ski pole was still stored across his backpack so he was just waddling not sking. The method now shared both hunting with a bow and endurance hunting. The struggling red foe was glimpsed to be starting to breath harder.

Novrus sent a few arrows off. Though they missed they interrupted red foe’s rest. He couldn’t be allowed much rest. A blunt practice arrow thwacked red foe. No deep puncture of course. Rather it made the point clear.

This chieftain was smart. He crawled his way into a curl of trees. The only approaches were in one narrow arc. Red foe pulled himself against one of the trees. Defiantly scanning for Novrus.

Novrus paused.

“Steady the breath,” Novrus said only in his mind.

Unable to see his attacker red foe dragged himself out of the defensive pocket.

Novrus reloaded the bow, drew and loose. Red foe ducked. Red foe’s fatigue was growing. Novrus sent blunt arrows down range.

“Keep them troubled, keep them moving, keep them tiring, until their eyes retire,” grandfather had said.

A blunt practice arrow struck red foe. Others missed. Red foe head swayed with its helmet. Then the face went down on the snow.

Wary of bears waking Novrus advanced to the next trees. Another blunt flew into red foe. No scream of pain. Just the reflex of the body pulsing in pain.

Waddling forward on the skis Novrus drew his broad knife. Cuts were drawn across red foe’s neck. Blood spurted out. Novrus stood back staring at the man. Time passed briefly before the spirit departed the flesh.

This time Novrus survived. How easily it could have been the other way around.

Novrus circle the area gather what arrows he could find. Funeral rights were prepared. Two tree trunks rolled together. The body laid on top in the notch the trunks made between them. Spruce branches to cover the now naked man. Novrus offered a portion of red foe’s food to the spirits with the rest added to the funeral pyre. Then it was lit.

Only with the smoke guiding the fallen spirit to the other world did Novrus put on the iron armor of the recently departed’s metal armor. A helm nearly broken in two, lamellar torso in good shape and the shin guards that don’t protect the knee.

<Novrus wins this time 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 03, 2018, 10:47:49 PM
Day 6 of the 2nd week before midwinter.

It was the next morning after when Novrus’s life may have ended. It would have been easy for the chieftain to slay Novrus rather than the other way around.

Novrus sorted the goods with those already in stock. He decided to sew together wool socks to replace the wool wraps currently aiding his feet on the chilling snow. There was a serviceable spare set of clothing with trousers, shirt and more.

Certainly there was weapons to outfit a few. One set was spares for Novrus and some items had come from distant home, like his shortbow. Perhaps the adventurer at Flower Wild should be brought onto a long term arrangement.

Novrus much desired to have a broad axe. Perhaps he could melt down one of the two scimitar for the metal. The long blade of the broad axe would aide in building the new house a great deal. Faster work with with right tool. Better fits with the right tool. Less creaks and drafts. Less complaints from a wife.

Novrus laughed!

Then he thought of his quest.

“Am I not to be the smith of the north?” he said.

The smithy’s large forge was lit with wood scrapes that came in abundance from the building of walls. These were just the starters with coal added. As they heated the leather on the grip was cut away and the wood underneath banged off. Working up the the heat the red foe blade was started upon. Though it all fine steel there wasn’t enough for a proper broad axe. He would work in the head of red foe hand axe as the center of the broad axe. This meant already having an axe head hole to start with. The scimitar, cut in two, would be made into the cutting curves to either side.

Late into the night the bellows pumped, and wheezed at the flawed seams. Hammer blows rang out on steel, iron and stone. The melodic banging echoing through the dry winter air. Exhausted Novrus simply slept in the smithy. There was heat enough there.

Through the next morning into the afternoon the dressing and mounting went on. Novrus hoped to removed the deficiencies of the unusual building approach. There was always a problem of inconsistent air from the bellows. The whittling was likewise a challenge with the flaws in his self made small knife. For all the challenges a broad axe was made. Its head wasn’t perfect yet it was sure to cut wood with all that steel. Its balance and bounce was different too. Serviceable though Novrus hoped later in life to make better.

Woodsman’s axe felled a tree then broad axe trimmed it. Novrus wasn’t quite sure if it was an improvement for this one task. Surely though it would matter over time. He started debating whether he could not simply heat it up and try again.

<Novrus broad axe 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 04, 2018, 01:15:28 AM
It was a smith’s challenge now: to remake the broad axe to proper quality. Norvus gathered two stones and a rock of certain shapes The handle was burned off. Heat was run to make the whole take on a glow. This heat would drive or scatter the carbon that made the iron steel.

Iron to a smith is soft. It holds a shape surely but not much of an edge. Iron survives impact more. It has a different bounce. One that dissipates energy. That softness of the iron makes it bend or flex rather than break. That is if you looked really closely. Good in some places but not for an edge.

Steel was for the edge. Infused with the right amount of mix. Carbon they would call it. It gave it a shine iron did not. In a bloom of iron there would be dots of shine where that narrow recipe had taken place. For a smith to make larger steels the challenge was to mix in small yet right amounts of fat or wood or smoke. The iron absorbs this if you do it right. In the end you get the hard steel. Hard to bite, hard to take an edge and yet hard that might break.

From the work down all of the first broad axe head had been heated that would purge the carbon leaving it as iron once again.

Now knowing the shape better from the first built Novrus shaped a length of iron. A thin section to be the outer cutting edge. A piece then transformed into iron. A process taking days to get just right.

Then the iron mass was heated to take the shape of the socket and bulk of the blade. This is the part that give flexibility preventing the steel from breaking. It also would support the steel. Iron would make up most of the weight of the axe head. Only the cutting front need be nor should be steel. As it was forged Novrus kept comparing it to the steel edge. He was now  mating them to the proper form than struggling to make one axe and two sword pieces become the shape.

Then came the welding. The iron heated hot the steel heated warm. That is to the temperatures a smith would call hot or warm. To high heat the steel again would be to purge the carbon worked in. It was best to think of this as the iron being heated to weld onto the steel rather than the other way around. Once hot the iron front was given a notch. This would have it weld bind onto both sides of the steel. Then the warm steel inserted. Hot iron was pounded to spread into and over the steel. Along each side just short of the cutting edge. This is how Novrus gave steel teeth to jaws of iron.

Now came a dressing. A mild heat so make the iron and steel turn. To take on the smooth sweeping lines remembered from his youth. Watching men work with a broad axe shared around the village. Art work showed the broad axe sweep.

On the fourth day Novrus pulled out the axe head with the wooden tongs. Every now and then the wooden tongs would need replacing. That at the leather paws, freshly soaked in water, let him grip the steel. Iron tongs were best but iron he did not have to spare, yet.

This time the broad axe head looked proper. It looked like the axes from home. Its lean shape ready to sharpen.

The toll on Norvus was growing. He had worked in a partial daze. His body was feeling a lack of nourishment. He did eat each day. When in the grips of creative passion an artist might well forget the needs of body.

Now he began the form fitting of the shaft. The basic had been cut from a birch tree quarter before the first axe head had started melting. Three of the four quarters had yielded lengths with superb grain. One of those was now being shaped to fit the new broad axe head. Novrus was still struggling with the flaws of his small knife.

The knife’s inconsistent curve skipped cutting a deep notch in the haft!

This would be prone to cracking under repeated axe blows. That would not do. Having not yet glued the haft in Novrus banged this one out.

The next morning he started carving another of the birch semi-handles. Once again shaping the wood to match the actual iron socket. Then precision shaping the rest of the handle to the combined weight. Novurs ate deeply today. Under feeding can make hands or minds skip. He was more careful this time.

In the evening thin leather was tucked onto the top of the haft. A little heat and it would singe in like a glue. A top wedge was tapped in pressing the wood and leather glue into the prickly sides of the iron sloped socket. Watered sap was run along the handle to preserve the wood.

Finally Novrus held in his hands a proper broad axe.

(Note: In game Novrus the first broad axe came out as a rough axe. When hafted it was a rough broad axe. In game Novrus did melt the axe down thanks to Bouidda’s clever coding. A fine iron billet was accidentally doubled worked to only decent iron billet by the steel recipe (dang it!). Still the resulting second go had a decent axe head. The remaining not quite depleted axe was deleted rather than made into a free billet.

The haft mounting came out as a rough broad axe. It troubled me to have to do days of melt and rebuild for a re-hafting. I did reload and redo the hafting as discard another axe-haft and blowing one day by waiting. The result did come out as a decent broad axe.)

<Novrus made broad axe>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 04, 2018, 02:45:07 AM
In thanks Novrus skid the short way to the ceremonial circle. The small  cross like mound where he made apologies, greater ceremonies and cried over Nilla. Today he lit spruce in thanks. Thanks for the understanding in forging the broad axe. Novrus wanted the sacrifice to represent shaping something with his hands. A cut of meat didn’t seem right today. A hard tack biscuit was chosen. This seemed pleasing to man and spirit alike.

Night was deepening. Novrus realized he could use the night to once again try the meeting with Grey Man.

Novrus went out to find a new ant hill. One farther away from the stead and not even near the traps. In the heathland near the lake shore to the north west he found one. Along the way he had gathered stones and rocks. A stone was placed for each of the four directions: north, east, south and west. The rocks made trail markers to the shore to find this hopefully sacred spot again.

As night entered its dark depth Novrus shaved silver from the silver ring letting it fall on the ant nest. This time he did nothing to adjust the droppings. His eyes were greatly weary from the days in the smithy. With the first melts, form and hafting being a day then four days in the remaking. It had taken the better part of a week.

Again Novrus felt a strong presence. Novrus saw no one so continued his vigil. At midnight his legs gave out dropping in next to the ant hill and into snow. Novrus rose up again. He strained to stay awake. In the small hours before dawn he collapsed this time into slumber. It must only have been an hour or two or three. Novrus thought he saw something in the distance but nothing he could describe. He stood up again shifting to a low ridge a few strides away. He returned to his vigil. 

Peeking over the trees came the glowing sun. It wasn’t a Grey Man. Novrus still stood in vigil awaiting a sign.

In the east a grouse flew into view and away.

Novrus took this as a good omen. Both that he had at least some favour with the woods and that it was time to go east. East back to the homestead.

Some where along the way he face planted into the snow. Somewhere in this night or the night before midwinter had past. The days began to grow longer. Had he been guided to do the ritual near this mystic cusp of light and dark?

When he recovered he returned to chores. On the next tree felled the reforged broad axe did indeed speed things up even more than before. Having now used both he was glad to have spent the days for the reforging and the extra day to re-haft it too.

<Novrus 2nd ant ritual>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 04, 2018, 11:11:06 PM

Day 2 of the 12th week before summer season

Novrus’s desire for exploration sometimes made it hard to stay still. Making an object like iron smithing was to him like a taking a journey with that object. He was out of iron to work, unless he broke down the red foe helm or shin guards.

He did clear up the north west fro the courtyard to be. This would be a good place for a herd of animals. To test the size he placed four fence sections, one at each corner. It would certainly be larger than the tight pens used by the Owl. However, Novrus was often away days at a time. The animals would need food left and more room to exercise.

South of the house there was a pocket of trees which save for an entrance was also closed off. He could do something to fence that in easily enough. In there two spruce trees were just inside the perimeter. These gave a rain shelter. To that Novrus had laid some spruce twigs, feathers and leaves as basic bedding for an animal, perhaps a dog, to stay in there.

Next day between stockpiling logs for the new house he skid a patrol. All appeared well this time. Novrus began pondering the cave far to the north. It had been three days travel. A round trip a week to ten days. With chores here in good order he could go there to outfit the cave. He had framed a door in place to create a warmth and battle barrier. It could still use a fireplace to used as a smoker. He might also spot large game during his trip.

Day 4 of the 12th week before summer season

Novrus packed carefully for this trip. He put on the lamellar cuirass and iron helm. He put his fur overcoat on over the armor. He was very warmly dressed.
He debated on what axes to bring but since he was going to be building it was three: woodsman’s axe to fell tree, hand axe for many duties and the carving axe for precision work. He wouldn’t need wood wall so the broad axe would stay. He picked up a pouch of extra arrows and the spruce bow, likely he would leave them there as reserve equipment at the camp. A wood bowl and cup as well. Extra food including turnips and hard tack to be left as emergency food in that cave. A few does of herbal medicine would be a good idea too. Before leaving he made an offering to the spirits on the ceremonial mound.

It was still late morning when he skied into the owl village ot the north of Gruelfed. He had been here months during his first mountain search. A child ran up and alongside shouting out questions like:

“Is that red foe armor?”
“Are rivers still water in the south?”
“Did you see a white stag?”
“Or a one horned reindeer?”

Novrus gave short replies: yes, no, no and no.

Lauri the shaman recognized him. There was no real troubles around though Hendo could use a hand. A reserve of kindling wood. An easy task for a man with many axes. It was only about a two hour delay with a little over a dozen dried meat cuts for payment. Those would do well stored in the cave.

Day 5 of the 12th week to summer season

Purposeful pushes sped his skiing across the mires. The month of regular use had improved his skill immensely. He rarely stumbled. Last night he made a shelter on sparse pine march. Today he was making good time to the cave. When…

…there is a bear there!

Less than ten strides ahead.

<Novrus bear skiing 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 05, 2018, 03:32:36 AM
Novrus went still. He was panting from the long hard ski northward. This fatigue would put him at a disadvantage. Against a bear that could be fatal. He let the bear walk on while he caught his breath. Feeling a hunger in his belly Novrus ate as quietly as he could and drank from his water skin. Only then did he glide scouting along the bear’s tracks.

This late in the winter the snow was thigh deep. Perhaps a hindrance to bear and certainly one to Novrus were he not skiing.

After a few minutes Novrus came to the realization the bear was traveling not grazing. After all the berries were long since withered. Novrus would have to pick up his pace to get close to the bear.

As this might take to much time or night come Novrus kept an eye out for an easily defended shelter hide out. Spying one he stopped to assemble it.

Carry as much as we was there were two paths. One was to put the extra gear in the new shelter and try to catch up to the bear. The other to leave the bear in this area, set up the cave then return to the hunt. Novrus weighed his options. It seemed the second one was the more likely to him better in years to come.

Pressing on northward the deep skies grew dark early as they do. It was with some surprise that Novrus had skied to within bow shot of an Owl village. It was the encampment at “Wolf’s tip”.

Valde a shaman and Vivva a housewife came over to greet him. Novrus managed he was journeying to a hunting cave and had passed a bear a few hours to the south. They thanked him for the warning about the bear. They would keep a second guard by the reindeer for a few days. As is tradition when a traveler is welcomed they wished to exchange stories and invited to stay in a safe place.

The village Kota had thick piles of winter animal furs. Those of winter having thicker fur than in the summer. Novrus felt next year he could trade them iron goods for such furs.

As Novrus got closer to the cave he thought it useful to scout around in an arc. To see better the lay of the land while there was good light. In doing so he spotted another cave and skied over to it. The interior was big though with much interior slopes and straight drops. The sort of drops one might get injured on in the dark. Interesting as it was Novrus felt the earlier cave was the better for his purposes.

Now at Pasknopuppi Novrus leaned down to study the snow. A lynx was very recently in the area. It may even be living inside the cave. Cautiously he explored but found the tracks didn’t go into the cave nor was it lurking inside. There was enough daylight to start on improving the cave. Floor boards would need to be balanced over rough ground in the cave. At least you already have a ceiling.

 Was it five days? Perhaps. Novrus toiled at the Pasknopuppi cave. By then the area behind the near secret door had a pocket of civilization. Roughly six strides by four or six strides had a gentle wood floor. Twice again at least was the rear of the cave still untouched.
There was storage for firewood, the supplies, room to work and more. A fireplace was built to vent out an opening made toward the inner wall which then would have smoke coil out the front of the cave. As well as warming fires in the summer it could be used to make the cave a smoker. Although uncomfortable to sleep in at the same time. On one side of the fireplace was the wood pile for easy feeding. On the other he had installed a sleeping bunk with a spruce bedding to show the warmth coming of the stacked stones.
Water was currently annoying requiring a few hundred yards downhill to mire pools then back up rocky vista. He had brought a few bowls with him to make such a trip more productive.
Traps were set including one sized to catch the lynx known to be in the area. The other was a noisemaker by the door to the interior. He would leave with these disarmed. There primary purpose was defense while sleeping.

Returning the shelter made to mark the bear trail it was quite likely the bear was long gone. Still Novrus figured large game would come through again. He spent a day improving the camp with trail markers, defensive traps, fire ring and a stock of firewood.

After all that it was time to return to the homestead. No large game this trip. The cave now was a true hunting outpost. Also an emergency shelter for Novrus. It was also an example of those stories you here of people stumbling into a cave finding goods inside. This time they would even find a fireplace and bed!

Back home Novrus scanned the defensive trap. Still as he left it. Then he rushed inside. Quickly he started a fire. He poured water on the hot stones to cause steam. This was also a sauna! Removing his clothes he steamed more water. He leaned back to enjoy coming home.

He indulged further sleeping that night naked between the bear furs.

Upon awakening he dressed then offered meat to the house spirit. A thank you for looking after the homestead during his more than a week absence.

There was chores to be done again. The traps to check. Two birds caught to roast and another burned as too long dead. The pit traps were reset though they still hadn’t got anything. A patrol to make…

… and of course a red foe to be slain.

Novrus was well equipped though one can never know for sure how these will go.

<Novrus red foe 5>

(Note: Regarding improving a cave floor to a building tile, needed for a fireplace and sleeping bunk, see my mod's biy https://www.unrealworld.fi/forums/index.php?topic=4654.0 )
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 05, 2018, 04:53:24 AM

This red foe seemed to a hunter. With a bow, a partial quiver of arrows and basic other gear and clothing.

Red foe was also running away!

Novrus skis for a few minutes following the trail of the faster moving red foe. Red foe had gotten tired. His hiding place discovered red foe again dashed. Novrus’s spear flew through the air. It was a long throw going off a spruce. Red foe though realized he had to turn and fight.

Novrus was switching to round shield and ski pole when red foe leapt forward with his knife. A block and a block then as Novrus pulled out his axe his thigh screamed as stabbed into it. Novrus flopped into the snow. He still gripped his axe and shield.

Red foe leaned forward hoping to get the force of his body behind a deep stab. Novrus counter swung with his axe. To avoid a cloven face red foe had to twist though the knife gouged across Novrus’s arm.

Red foe slashed battered away by the shield. In the same rotation Novrus swung onto his feet. How his thigh wound screamed in pain!

Agile as a deer with little gear Red foe all but dropped to a knee to dodge a horizontal axe swing. Then he leapt like a cat managing a stab onto Novrus but not with the angle to penetrate the layers worn.

Slashes and stabs, shield blocks and dodges. The snow around them tossed like waves breaking in white foam. Novrus receives a leg found, stumbles with a shield block saving him from exploitation. A knife stab again with Novrus’s shield cracking onto Red foe’s wrist. Dropping the knife into the snow. Novrus steps over it denying it the enemy.

Red foe takes out a cudgel. It has bits of fur and feather on it. Likely one carried by the hunter Red foe to finish off game without ruining the hide. This sort of weapon Novrus’s winter layers provide superb protection from.

As much as it was hoped anyway. While in leaning dodge Red foe cracks Novrus’s calf yanking up on the blow. As Novrus’s leg goes up he falls backwards. A follow up blow lands on thick furs doing no harm.

It occurs to Novrus he has yet to land one hit!

Minor wounds they may each be. Several they are. Collectively Novrus was having trouble bearing the weight of all his gear. His panting breath was growing. Recalling the days in shield wall practice Novrus stays defensive a while in hopes of regaining his breath while the red foe tires.

Novrus takes a step back. Red foe jumps off the ground perhaps hoping to over power any high block. The wicked impact on the shield is more than weapon. Red foe’s snarling face appears over the shield almost close enough to kiss. Shield wall training including recieving charges. Novrus let one leg turn. Red foe twisted away in a strange flail of legs. Red foe landed on his feet but the club was gone from his hand. All that power had also ripped the shield from the hand of Novrus!

Novrus’s instinct is to recover his shield. Red foe desperate picks up a rock.

The rock blow with no reach has little speed. Novrus punches up his shield catching the rock and a few fingers. Red foe yelps as the rock flies off into the woods.

Novrus has still not wounded this red foe. Who was this warrior?

Novrus realizes one possible problem: his thrown spear. Shifting left and right Novrus gets part way around. Red foe wasn’t thinking of the spear. He grabbed another rock and seeing the extended distance scooped up the club.

Two club blows blocked and Novrus has circled so the spear is behind him.

Calm in mind Novrus stays defensive. As the club comes in Novrus blocks with the shield then slashes his axe parallel to the shield’s surface. The club snaps in two!

Red foe is stunned for a moment. In that moment Novrus twists his whole body. The axe just swung down now swings horizontal. The outer edge of the axe cutting apart a shallow wound on red foe’s right hip.

Red foe turns once again to a rock. Attempts of blows are made. In sagas the hero and villain fight always with vigor. In truth Novrus was sliding on his skis! Red foe managed a rock strike to little affect. Then a shield block to the wrist again made Red foe become unarmed.

Novrus knows he needs as much breath as possible against the lightly clad agile flow. Block after block he makes waiting for an opening. Then Red foe doesn’t just strike but also grabs the shield. Suddenly the shield is on the ground and Novrus unguarded! Red foe pushes in to smash the rock on helm but again Novrus’s axe cutting wind makes Red foe twist into neither connecting.

Novrus must kneel to turn the shield over in the deep snow. Red foe presses again. This time Novrus’s cross blocks. Axe haft sliding on wrist. Around in an arc they go with Red foe losing grip again. As Red foe recovers balance Novrus is once again fighting axe and shield.

As if in exasperation Red foe kicks at Novrus. The block is shakey slipping a little on the now wet handle. Novrus scowls in pain as bastard Red foe kicks him right in the thigh wound.

Roaring in defiance of stabbing pain Novrus does an angled chopped. All of Red foes talent is needed to avoid as he can’t just move linearly  like before. Red foe flops onto his back. His hands go by his head and in  away Novrus has never seen a double leg kick ends up with Red foe standing again!

“By the spirits and the silver moon!” exclaims Novrus.

Adapting styles Novrus sends away the rock when Red foe finds another. As a kick comes Novrus thought he was ready to deal it a chop. Red foe’s front leg disappeared from view as he went up really striking with the other leg. The shield is slammed so hard the edge pounds into Novrus’s shoulder.

A battering of kicks. Straight kicks, bent over kicks and leaping kicks barrage Novrus. Novrus dropped his shield from one bash then recovered again.

Finally Novrus feels his breath caught as much as it ever will be. Novrus exchanges a barrage of blows. The axe nicks the trouser pants of Red foe without touching skin. Novrus harbors his strength pausing his assault briefing to recover then renew a barrage again.

Red foe feints a kick to attempt a rock strike. Novrus scoots his legs and lower shield back from the fient but doesn’t try to block the rock. Instead Novrus’s axe swing clips Red foe’s weapon side shoulder.

Now Red foe has been hit twice. Sweat and a panting show Red Foe wasn’t a beast of unlimited energy. He was tiring.

The blows attempts exchange. Red foe almost gets a hold of the axe haft but can’t keep with the momentum. Both warriors twist a quarter way around. A comedy of staggering. Novrus keeps grip on both axe and shield while Red foe is again disarmed.

In a fresh move Novrus stabs with the carving axe. Its point tearing open the clothing only of Red foe’s hip.

Blows exchange several times with a rock strike bouncing off the hip furs of Novrus. Red foe twice tumbles in the snow to avoid taking the axe to his head. More rock againt shield and axe against exchange among the trees.

Red foe’s dodge turns into a sudden run.

Novrus skims the axe along Red foe’s back. Red foe is forced to turn to find a fresh axe swing cutting along an arm. Nothing deep.

Novrus eye catch the sight of the spear shaft. Red foe’s run might have been to get around to grab the spear!

In that moment of thought Red foe pump kicks hard knocking the shield away from Novrus. Novrus leans to grab it up as he desires to stay with the style he knows. Red foe kicks again. Novrus grins as instead of blocking he dodges. Without the hard force encounter Red foe’s kick swings so high it puts him on his back. Novrus chops finding only snow as Red foe rolled and is now spinning upright.

“Just die already!” shouts Novrus.

“You first!” answered Red foe.

He speaks our language!

Novrus side steps then with a sweeping leg moves the spear behind him and amid the cover of a spruce tree. Panting lightly and jarred by pain Novrus remembers words of grandfather.

“A long fight is won by those who keep breathing.”

Accepting the kicking abuse he catches up partway on his breath. Then Red foe skids in the snow. Ready for the agility Novrus doesn’t over commit this time. Soon they are exchanging blows with an axe cut skimming Red foe’s chest. The cut clothing reddening from a wound underneath.

Novrus comes out his next rest with his axe being twisted to suddenly change course for a blunt blow with the back. Alas, the trick doesn’t work like it did on his sister in practice. Novrus’s long ski taps a tree trunk making him almost fall over. A boot to the neck is his reward. Slipping also Red foe didn’t generate the power to injure anything more than pride.

Winds waft the trees. The spruces shimmy their snow covered spreads. Birch branches crackle rubbing against each other. Birds dart skyward to escape.

Splattered with melted wet and dabs of blood the two combatants gazed at each other. It wasn’t over yet.

(Note: Due to game mechanics to have Red Foe’s hunting knife and Novrus’s spear inaccessible the Novrus character has picked them up. Story wise I am treating those two weapons as unreachable to both.)

<Novrus Agile 5>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 05, 2018, 06:25:55 PM
Red foe spoke first, “Those birds mean my war party is coming. Its a good idea for you to flee.”

Red foe’s breath was starting to pant. So to was Novrus. Both had sweat mixed with the melted splatters of snow on them. Novrus’s face was still hidden by the lynx fur mask. The one cut to look like the animal was the one starting back.

Novrus spoke next, “Those birds mean your war party is coming. Its a good idea to kill you first.”

Red foe swallowed. Hardly the reaction he was hoping for.

Novrus made a swing. He had to fight like when training against grandfather. Better still to fight like his grandfather. Novrus stepped forward with an axe swing from high right as if to chop downwards. Then he twisted toward his left the axe coming down on the other side! Red foe had started to pivot out of the job. It left his right side, facing Novrus’s left, roughly in the same spot. This time the axe cut on Red foe’s flesh. A deep cut on the right upper arm.

The move did expose Novrus’s right side which Red foe kicked for. Quickly Novrus reversed the twist catching the blow on the round shield.

As clever as the last exchange was the next was a comedy. Red foe’s thrusting deflected kick made himself flop into the snow. Novrus moved to land a blow on the fallen. Red foe’s thrashing attempts to rise accidentally pushed a ski tip sideways. The wide split of legs made Novrus grunt and fall onto his axe hand for balance. Red foe tried to kick to the lowered head but the snow was poor footing. Both managed to face off again standing up.

Again Novrus was defensive to recover his breath. Kick after kick blocked then a loss of grip on the shield. Novrus bent to avoid a kick while getting to the shield then the next was wide while he got it up. Novrus held to his calm on the next few kicks. Red foe was tiring slightly more.

Now Novrus played a game of waiting for kicks. Only then swinging. Red foe was attentive. Both fighters were wobbling. No one landed blows.

Novrus felt it was safe to try a change. While Red foe recovered from a failed kick Novrus shoved the carving axe back in its loop. Another and the shield was on its carrying strap.

Red foe held a moment trying to figure out why Novrus was doing it. Then he came with blows again. What did it matter if the shield was out of the way. A blow landed with no affect on the layers of fur and cloth.

Now Novrus revealed his change of plan. Reaching above and behind he reached an object sticking out the top of his pack. An object recently forged. An object with a metal head on a long haft. He pulled out the broad axe. With a flick the narrow leather sheath fell off the glistening steel edge.

Red foe’s eyes widen and his jaw slackened. He jumped at Novrus hoping to catch him before the long axe was ready.

From the over head draw Novrus was all but in a high guard. Novrus shifted his skis back to gain a moment of time. Left hand on the bottom of the axe went down and backward taking that part of the haft with it. Right hand at mid haft came fast down. This cranked the axe head even faster.

Red foe’s charge met the axe on his right upper arm.

Steel for parting hard wood quickly parted flesh. There was a moment of strong resistance. Perhaps a knick of bone. The axe come away coated in bright red of fresh blood turning dark in the air. Dots of red sprang onto the snow in the arc of movement. Pulsing blood spurted from Red foe’s arm.

Red foe’s arm then shoulder then hip twists with cut. He falls into the flow. Blood pulsing from the new wide cut.

For a moment Red foe wasn’t moving. Many times the first fall is only a short fall.

In the clarity of battle mind Novrus shifted near the head and shoulders of Red foe. Then like so many times at the stead let fall the broad axe like he was shaping a trunk into a log for one of the walls. Broad axe blade falls across the neck. The blade is wider than the neck. It dives in halted half way through the neck bones. Novrus pulls the long axe up. Red blood droplets toss up to the heavens.

Novrus, with splatters on his out furs, pauses to watch the Red foe. Ready if need be to strike one more time. It isn’t needed.

With the foe defeated Novrus searches the Red foe then searches the snow for spear and knife.

Now came the care of his wounds. Three shallow punctures and a bruise. He pushed or removed clothing to wash the stabs. Water from his skin to wash them clean of fur hairs.

Healing herbs of… of what? Poking around the pouch Novrus is reminded he has herbs for sweating out toxins and for cooling fevers. Herbs for flavors too. None of what he managed to gather was for a poultice for risk of infection.

Bandages then. He had two of his own. He manged a third from Red foe’s trousers though first he scrubbed them in snow then washed them with the water from his water skin. Thus the three stabs were expected to heal well. For the bruise there was nothing to do from the outside.

Novrus did not put much belief that there really was a war party coming. If there was then sleeping in some random place was an option.  The other would be to defend the homestead. He did fell a tree to start the funeral rites. He was two fatigued to continue. Still he should do something. While dragging over Red foe’s body to the felled tree Novrus flopped backwards into the snow. Sleep took over.

Wind came dancing through the trees clad in her near transparent gown of mist. Sparkling ice diamonds around her neck, wrist and ankles. Her naked feet never touching the snow nor leaving a print. She blew a kiss toward the homestead. Novrus’s ski trail was curled with snow making a long stretch blank. She blew another whisking away Red foe’s approach.

She giggled as she danced around the foot and ski marks here. These she half filled. No one was to know for sure she had come. As she danced stars and moon sped by over head. Floating over Novrus she hovered horizontal over him. Reaching out a finger she tapped the tip of nose. In a moment she was away through the trees become legend once again.

<Novrus defeated 5>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 06, 2018, 04:55:28 AM
Novrus’s nose tingled with a hint of frost bite. He rubs the icy fur of his arm across it. He felt like a lover or mother had just nudged him awake. He rolled to one side seeing the forest glistening in the morning start of sun. He felt like he had been in a dream or was in one now. He rolled to the other side to escape the brightness. His eyes lock onto the ice clad corpse of the red foe just within arm’s reach.

The battle had been no dream.

Cracking the ice of his own sheathing Novrus rose. He was warm himself. He felt more than safe but pleasant. Like someone had watched over him while he slept. Had his eyes opened at night to peer at a wind dancing at  a woman? Had it been a dream? Which was real and which was unreal?

 Rising to his feet Novrus continued the funeral rites. Two trees rolled together. Spruce for smoke and concealment. For pyre goods Novrus left Red foe what food he carried and one of the rocks he had fought so long with. The fire lit. Novrus skied off.

Novrus thought to back track a distance on Red foe’s trail. Soon though the trail was lost. Swept away by last night’s wind with drifting snow. So Novrus circled around the mire and peered out over the frozen lakes. No sign of large game nor of the so called red foe war party. Going home he went to look out hill finding again no sightings. He descended and skied home.

Rain barrel’s ice yielded to cold water beneath to fill his waterskin. A bird’s hide was advanced in tanning stages. In the ceremonial grove he started a smoky fire leaving a turnip for a sacrifice. Birds from the traps were skinned then butchered. The sauna-smoker house chimney stones still felt of warmth from the last fire. A stew of bird meat and turnips flavored with sorrel was started. A portion of the meat set to roast on a stone for earlier consumption. He returned outside to tan those new bird skins into leather. Such is the life at a homestead.

The next day two more bandages were assembled from scraps of torn clothing. The punctures were healing well. Still he felt it wise to wash the bandages, wash the wounds then restore the bandages. The bruise on his calf was smarting. While there wasn’t anything to clean Novrus remembered his mother treating bruises from fight practice with a compress. Novrus wrapped it round that it might support the wounded area so that it had that little bit less to do while healing. He regretted not having left a bandage at the Point’s cave. He hoped to remember next time he was there.

(Note: Washing bandages is part of my mod Brygun’s added items. Some disagree with the practice. I contend that since you need a new bandage every 24 hours for full healing and clothes are a valuable commodity you should have the choice to reuse them. Reuse coming after a preparation such as washing the bandages.)

Afternoon chores consisted of repairs to his furs he wore for clothing and armor. The knife stabs had gone into wound him and there was other damages too. Some from battle, some from falls, some from caught on branches these damages are good to be repaired from time to time.

Over these days chores included making pairs of knitting needles. Novrus decided he should carry one set for leather working or for searching wounds for debris. He made two sets as household tools and another for leather working awls at the smithy.

Novrus also fashioned another stone hammer. One might ask why. You see the shape is the thing. A flat iron hammer does a lot of work yet for some tasks you can benefit from a different shape. A well stocked smithy would have several hammers of different weights, shapes and faces.

Over other days the large herding fence was raised. On the east side a channel of fencing controlled movement to a gate door in its middle. There would be various ways of securing the channel to block movement when desired. One being to set temporary fencing on either side of the gate.
One day it would be good to build a half building like the smithy to shelter animals. If they could use less energy to survive a storm that meant more into their growing meat, hide or wool. As he wasn’t expecting to get any animals this winter that could wait. As it was it was good suitable for constraining many types of animals. For now spruce twigs were spread out as a basic bedding for whomever would be first to live here.
Novrus pondered the problem of watering. Simple enough if someone was here to ferry from the lake or rain barrel. If he was away for a long time how could he leave enough for them.

Day 1 of the 9th week before summer season

Winter was in its deepest coldest depths. Ice on the rain barrel was thicker each morning than in the previous months. Novrus had finished eating the smoked elk. Now he was starting on the bear that had killed Nilla. There seemed to be a harmony to think of adventuring now at this change of meat. It also wise to hunt for meat before the meat stocks run out. The likely targets were the bear to the north or the one months ago north east of Flower Wild.

In respects to Nilla a companion should be taken up. The impoverished adventurer at Flower Wild came to mind. Novrus could now outfit him with with bow and arrows. He was good with swords but Novrus had melted the spare scimitar to forge the broad axe. The one scimitar left was Novrus’s first capture making it dear to him. He could fashion a spear with bone from the elk for the, as they say, the pointy end. That should do.

Novrus reviewed his own weapons. With its close tie to him and recent slaying Novrus chose the broad axe over his family’s woodsman axe or the family spear. Spears throws hadn’t been that reliable so far. For a second axe he chose a hand axe won in battle for a little more heft than his carving axe. The latter had only made shallow cuts in that recent battle.
There would also be a host of knives: a broad knife for hideworking and good for battle; hunting knife for a second fighting knife and his small knife which was convenient to carry.
There was of course going to be the Flower Wild laminated bow with a mix of arrows. However, in skiing he couldn’t use the bow. That is why in general he thought to use his broad axe as a second though short ski pole. It would be ready for melee if a bear jumped them like it had Nilla.

Novrus shuddered remembering the fateful day. He didn’t have a clear angle as the bear smashed on Nilla. As he took a few steps to reduce the risk of hitting Nilla the bear had pounded his friend into the ground.

Novrus took a breath. That is why he was taking an adventurer not a peasant this time. One to be equipped with bow and spear. Fetching from the cellar food for two he left for Flower Wild.

As he skied along he turned around pines into a pair of reindeer, maybe more! Four at least.

The herd was alert bolting almost as soon as he had seen them. Something possessed him to throw his broad axe. It twirled through the air striking into a snow bank. What was he thinking! Its not a spear. It did have a graceful beauty as it twirled along. Striking the snow it was undamaged. Novrus didn’t think he should do that very much if at all.

The stalk was on. It took time for a decent arrow shot which missed. Again stalking for an arrow to strike a pine. Hiding in dells then emerging let the reindeer get closer in their winter feeding. The reindeer he expected to shoot was obscured by a dozen pines. To the south another emerged. The arrow loosed.

It struck into the reindeer’s foreleg. Stumbling on a ruined limb this reindeer could hardly make way. This then would be the kill. It managed a bobbing run disappearing among the trees. The tracks of the herd obscuring which was the wounded one. Following the majority Novrus was figuring that in thinking like a reindeer they would regroup somewhere.

 Soon a small reindeer was seen moving in the cluster of tracks. Stealthy stalking for minutes more brought the injured reindeer into view. He had to admit for a reindeer with an arrow through a leg it was moving pretty good.

Minutes later the affect of the arrow proved the value of its flight. The reindeer no longer could keep up with the herd nor out pace skiing Novrus. The finishing was delayed by the comedy of fighting uphill on skis. Buttocks to the snow Novrus got up while the deer managed a short dash of little more than a stride. A back of hand axe crack knocked it out. A hunting knife to the throat give it a clean passing. Novrus skinned, butchered and sacrificed before the sun had set.

Taking stock of the location Novrus figured he was a half hour from Flower Wild. He carried the hide and quartered meat over. He began make trades for non-perishable goods like squirrel hides. However when it came to exploring they were still short handed since hardworking Nilla had passed away. Novrus found a place to sleep by himself in a small kota.

Returning to the homestead Novrus set out what was left of the reindeer meat to dry in the cold winter air. He did want leather for projects so he set the hide to de-hair at the lake. It was noon now. Novrus decided to start for the Owl village to the north.

At Gruelfen no one of skill was up for a long time away from the village. He did see to trading for a broadknife for furs and arrows. This being a weigh of reducing the weight of his trade goods. From their Novrus moved northward across his hunting range supported by his homestead to the south and the Point cave to the north.

He was starting to get sightings in the far distance of elk. Farther behind the elk was another Owl village.

Out on the mire into the woods, onto the mire into the woods. A few shots. Hours of pursuit. Come noon the trails looped back onto themselves dozens of times. Novrus decided to disengage and make to the new village.

“Borderpeat” they called their holding. They had stocks of winter furs, arrows and common goods. Novrus tried to recruit a woodcutter named Jussa. Jussa said winter was when the village his firewood the most.

Late afternoon Novrus found one of his hunting camps. The shelter stood nestled in among trees. Traps desprung awaited retriggering to catch game or sound the alarm on intruders. Firewood was waiting too. With a bit of daylight left Novrus skied on.

Darkness came faster then he had thought. Between two mountains he made a quick camp. A loop snare noisemaker guarded the way to where he hid the shelter. It was gathered up in the morning. A mire received the drainage from the mountains. Just the sort of place to find bog ore once the ice melted. It turned out he was only few minutes from the village of Wolf’s Tip.

At Wolf’s Tip Gealbu, an Owl hunter, explained Aksel needed help traveling. He wanted a guide back to Reemi lands. As smith of the north Norvus had plans to be in this for the winter weeks ahead.

Asking a few of the men and one woman it was Hiege a woodsman who agreed to join Novrus’s adventures as smith of the north. Heige showed excellent skills with his axe and was decent with spears. Novrus gave him a fur mittens and face shield. He was also given the wooden roundshield Novrus had made and first used months ago. The bone spear was passed over too. These, Novrus explained, were also toward the payment for services. Heige already had a bow and few arrows. With a split of the food they were ready to leave.

(FYI: Journal passed 50,000 words a little while ago)

<Novrus Heige the Henchman>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 06, 2018, 09:28:05 PM
Heige and Novrus made their way northward to the Point cave.

Novrus said, “Your people can come here. I don’t mind. Its for hunting and safety. Here through this notch is the door and room beyond.”

Heige didn’t need to duck as much as Novrus to pass through the narrow.

Heige asked, “Is that a trap?”

“Yes a small one to guard the door. Like the larger one in the mouth of the cave. Defensive ones. Shelter from animals. I don’t think I’d come here often enough to check for bears in a large one.”

Novrus felt his way around in the darkness. A handful of pre-split firewoods were found by his hand. Along with them cave dried bits of bark. These he put into the fireplace. Striking his sparking iron on flint there were moments of light. Then the kindling started with a tiny red dot of glow. Huffing crew the glow until a flame had the branches.

As Hiege explored the floored and unfloored sections of the cave Novrus checked the stockpile. To it he remembered to add a bandage. A survivor stumbling into the cave might well need it. That survivor might be him, Hiege or any of the other Owl allies.

“It is a good camp. Safe, warm and sheltered,” said Heige, “but there is only one bunk.”

“What’s that?” said Novrus, “Oh yes. That’s true. We can fix that though. First a meal.”

Out of the deep cold and winds they ate sitting next to the small fire. The chimney stones warmed and would be warm for a while.  They set about chores in the rest of short winter daylight. A tree felled and brought up. It would become boards for the second sleeping bunk.
Novrus assembled rocks and a stone for a fire ring in the first chamber of the cave. In part it would act as a distraction from unwanted persons bothering to find the secret door. A small fire was made to leave ash as part of the deception.

By the next afternoon the second bunk was installed. The width of the floored area was extended. It would be more comfortable for two to have space to move without bumping into each other as much.

Then the pair went off making a scouting trip and to refill their water skins. To the north west they climbed a ridge. It was a beautiful sight of miles of forested hills with craggy mountains peaking up. Night was coming fast as the sun dove behind those same mountains.

 Skiing the pair found themselves confused by the unfamiliar mountains. Though here twice the dark was turning the shapes of mountains into blobs of inky black on near black evening sky.

Novrus gave out a sneeze. A blast of slime splashing on the inside of his lynx fur mask. He had caught a flu in cruising the cold mires.

Now at least Novrus recognized the slopes. They went inside the Point’s shelter for health and warmth. Hiege stacked a fire to warm them. Novrus muttered that at some point he had put down the clay kettle pot ideal for making medicine teas. They agreed on Novrus eating some of the leaves, burdock for the fever and dog pipe for nutrition. Novrus also burned a turnip in the fire as a sacrifice to the cave spirit.

In the morning Novrus was still ill. They would press on in their hunting patrol unless it turned worse. Drinking well, eating well and having slept well the flu passed by mid-morning. Novrus was glad he kept herbal remedies in his medicine pouch.

Exploring west north west they found a pair of caves. There was no signs of bears in either. Pushing on they spotted a Nerjpez amid the ranges.

<N and H Nerj 6>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 06, 2018, 09:45:36 PM
The spoke agreeing to close if they could on the Red foe. Turning to sky downhill they spotted an elk only a few hundred yards away. They skid for the elk. Both would come to swear it was an elk with no tracks. Could it have been a spirit? Chased by the red foe or driven by their foul practices?

They shifted west ward. Cresting a hill they again spotted the red foe. Taking a moment to rest and prepare they moved in on him. Surely the Red foe was a mortal leaving tracks.

Committed to guard the spirit-elk they moved in fast. Novrus tucking away the ski pole shuffle ran on his skies knocking an arrow. The Red foe heard them of course. As Red foe readied an arrow Novrus from under ten strides let fly an arrow out of Flower Wild. It tore in and out of Red foe’s arm. Red foe falls to the ground with spurting aertial bleeding from the arm. As he falls Heige’s arrow flew through the space he had once stood in. Heige strikes fist cleaving his handaxe into the Red foe’s neck. Already the battle is over.

<H and N slew N6>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 06, 2018, 10:35:31 PM
The spoke agreeing to close if they could on the Red foe. Turning to sky downhill they spotted an elk only a few hundred yards away. They skid for the elk. Both would come to swear it was an elk with no tracks. Could it have been a spirit? Chased by the red foe or driven by their foul practices?

They shifted west ward. Cresting a hill they again spotted the red foe. Taking a moment to rest and prepare they moved in on him. Surely the Red foe was a mortal leaving tracks.

Committed to guard the spirit-elk they moved in fast. Novrus tucking away the ski pole shuffle ran on his skies knocking an arrow. The Red foe heard them of course. As Red foe readied an arrow Novrus from under ten strides let fly an arrow out of Flower Wild. It tore in and out of Red foe’s arm. Red foe falls to the ground with spurting aertial bleeding from the arm. As he falls Heige’s arrow flew through the space he had once stood in. Heige strikes fist cleaving his handaxe into the Red foe’s neck. Already the battle is over.

<H and N slew N6>

They stripped the Red foe of gear. The iron helm and leather armor went to Heige as did a hunting knife. The other weapons went to Novrus to melt at the smithy. They debated only briefly on the rest.

Each felled a tree for the funeral pyre. The slain laid on top under a spruce. The bright and smoky fire blazed to rival the setting sun.

It was too late to return to the Point’s improved cave. They settled on one of the twin caves at the “Cruel Summit.”

“I did not name it. It was named so from the old times,” said Heige.

Each made a bedding of spruce twigs. Other twigs and branches were set aside as kindling. This was all done in the back high point of the cave. Norus set out a pair of his snares as noisemakers guarding the way to them. A kindling fire was started to provide a hint of warmth. The two settled down talking proudly of each other’s part in the battle.

In the morning they had slept well and comfortable in their improvised cave shelter. Novrus left a leave of herbs in thanks. Novrus began wondering about the reindeer hide he had left to de-hair. They should make their back with perhaps two days of scout hunting along the way.

A few hours later they arrived at Heige’s home village of “Wolf’s tip.”  There Heige and Novrus explained their seeing the spirit elk and protecting it from the red foe. They also spoke of the Point cave shelter and how they to could use it.

After the conversations they carried on. One of the pre-built shelters was near when evening came. Unfortunately no trail markers had been set. They wasted time searching round and round for its hidden space. When they did find it the trail markers went up in each of the four directions. A second lean to was erected perpendicular to the first around a new fire ring. They now blocked the wind for each other.

They were well on the way to the homestead when another Red foe was seen across a narrow mire.

<H and N Red 7>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 06, 2018, 11:02:22 PM
The sky up. Novrus settles the ski pole on its loop to notch an arrow.

He fires.

Red foe dies.

The arrow straight through the back as deep as the feathers.

<H and N slew Red 7>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 07, 2018, 04:56:13 AM
With limited tree growth on the mire they decided to bog the fallen red foe. Heige was given the red foe’s spear, leather leggings and fur footwear to add to his armoring. Novrus claimed the mail cowl in good shape and a fur cloak.

The corpse bobbed up and down in the icy bog water. Well they could hope it would sink later. For decency Novrus layered spruce twigs over the floating corpse.

Continuing on they slept briefly in the woods before getting to the homestead before midnight. The reindeer hide was in shape for the next steps. A grouse was even waiting as a fresh meal trapped right outside the house’s door.

In the morning work on the reindeer hide continued. There was flapping noises in many directions. It turns out the homestead trap-line had caught several. Novrus made a sacrifice in the ceremonial glade for the gift. Four more birds were in the field’s guard traps. The pit traps were checked, found empty and reworked with the accumulating snow removed.

Day 4 of the 8th week before summer

When he awoke in the small hours the forest seemed dreadfully angry. Novrus was at a loss as to why. For the birds being trapped so long? For the Red foe’s slain? For some mystic sign given gone unobserved?

Novrus made an offering of recently butchered grouse. Hopefully that would reconnect with the spirits. There was hours of hide work to do. Heige took the time to explore the stead’s forest.

Next day saw Novrus reworking his linen undergarments. They had through battle taken many tears, bear bites and weapon cuts. Using fragments of tattered red foe clothes he hoped to fill in the gaps. His replacement was a mess. He wasn’t entirely sure it would hold up any better.

Now came time for smithing. Hiege was tasked to fell trees while this was going on. There was still a huge call for logs for the new house.

“Not that one!” yelled Novrus.

“But its close to where you are building,” said Heige.

“That birch is one for relaxing under.”

Novrus should have been more specific. Of course there was utility in felling tress close to the work. Some though had been left specifically to have trees for relaxation, wind blocks, soil retention or decoration. He would have to lead Heige into the woods a way to start the felling. It really came down to having show Heige each one to cut if it was to be anywhere near the homestead. Well he’d hopefully not chop down anything too important.

Novrus heated and cut a new scimitar into steel billets. A red foe’s large axe was worked down into iron billets. Tomorrow he would decide what to make.

That choice was for a battle axe. He had far too frequent encounters with red foes. This was forged well and hafted balanced on the first attempts. It was a shovel that vexed him. Three times he had to reheat the iron to work the shape again. He realized part of his struggle was the patchwork wheezy bellows. The heat was more variable than his skill could account for.

With the reindeer hide turned to leather its high time for the replacement bellows. This time he had stockpiles for his choice of wood supplies. Nor more the desperate get it going work at the start of winter. The finest boards were picked for the top plates. Shaping them with the carving axe and smooth whittling knife of which both he had made since then. The flexing leather pieces were now cut whole from he reindeer without any need for the wheezing seams. The resulting bellows performed admirably. The old bellows he took into the sauna-steamer house to go up in the rafters. A spare in case of damage or theft.

The next day Hiege brought up soon he would have to return home. Novrus agreed that more smithing could wait. Heige had been interested in seeing the process. He had spent turns at the bellows giving a close look at the hammering and metal colors. Before leaving Novrus put more herbs in his medicine pouch. Before they would go far they went to check the pit traps.

As the fields one spiked pit trap had gone in! There impaled was a slain wolf. At a lever trap a grouse had walked in to have its skull crushed. The bird was cut up as bait on the other traps and a sacrifice to the woods. Two other birds were to far decayed so were burned. The wolf they took back to the homestead.

At home the wolf was skinned and butchered. A cut was put on smoky fire in the ceremonial grove. With needing to revisit the tanning wolf hide Novrus suggested visiting Flower Wild. Heige, from Wolf’s Tip, thought it was a wonderful idea.

At the village their good luck was in first meeting Heandarak. That was the Flower Wild who helped with lumber work. They told stories soon attracting other villagers. For half an hour they were sat down in a Kota to tell of the northern village and the red foe battles. Novrus showed them the battle axe. Only the elders had seen one before. A hunter with a sprained ankle spoke of seeing reindeer nearby that he couldn’t catch. Heige suggested they go and Novrus eagerly agreed.

Tracks were found over an hour old. The sun was dropping so they debated to sleep near the tracks to better take up the trail in the morning.

Heige, “There is a chance though we may come across the herd sleeping in the night.”

Novrus agreed to make the attempt. Surprisingly the herd had come to the edge of the Flower Wild village. Perhaps they had thought the domesticated reindeer were ones to merge with. The problem now was the tracks were horribly mangled. Heige and Novrus slept by the trail as first planned. Broad sweeps might find it again in the daylight.

Novrus found the trail again heading southwest. However an hour of searching kept finding the trail confused in feeding movements. Novrus lost confidence they would over take the herd. Heige simply laughed at how clever the reindeer are.

With Hiege in such good spirits Novrus led them to where there had been a man attacking bear months ago. The two of them with decent weapons and layers could make a fair fight. Not finding any recent bear sign they explored a ways east, then north then west back to homestead and the wolf fur. At one point Novrus thought he glimpsed a distant red foe but the sighting was unconfirmed and no tracks found.

The next day would be the last Heige was with Novrus. They discussed the equipment Heige had been given from their battles. Norvus affirmed like the eating bowl there were freely given. Heige was greatly pleased.

The wolf fur treatment was complete. The spikes of the pit had cut it in many places. It wouldn’t do for trade. As a homestead decoration it would do just fine.

<Novrus soon no Heige>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 08, 2018, 04:31:13 AM

With one day left Novrus offered to make the day toward Heige’s home of Wolf’s Tip.

“I know that path. Show me another,” said Heige.

Novrus pondered for a minute before speaking.

“Then let us see how far south toward the Kuamo we can get. Whether the red foe are slithering around them as well.”

Novrus gathered trade goods, mostly two Red foe shortbows and some of their arrows, then they departed.

Vast stretches of snow white were there companion and terrain. From morning to evening the skied the rivers rarely touching land. In river country the frozen winter makes these better than roads for they are without hills to climb. Winds blew at them with gusts turning up twirls that Heige called Snow Dancers. Where in spring Novrus had needed two days to trudge they managed the distance to the first Kuamo village by evening. 

The folks of Cliffen Rapid, Pahtokoski, were weary at the unfamiliar shapes of furry men coming out of the woods.

Cliffen Rapid had a long log house, a log sauna, a log storage shed yet it was in a Kota they kept their trade goods in. The people young and old were healthy and once recognition happened friendly. As the last before the Owl it is likely Owl’s in years past had traded the Kota for a great boon. There were furs, seeds, bags of grains from their fields, a butted mail hauberk (weaker than those made of properly riveted links), iron helm, iron knee guards and foods. It seemed the village was doing quite well.

A woman named Salme caught Novrus’s eye. She had a sparkle Novrus couldn’t place. He wondered though if having her come along might end up into a situation like what happened to Nilla. In chatting explained she knew only a little of knife fighting, to keep off ambitious admirers. He wasn’t sure to take that. Novrus tested the waters by asking if she would come hunting. Salme seemed to scoff while politely refusing.

Novrus studied the metal armors more to see how they were made. They would of course be quite expensive. He doubted if his few trade goods would cover a purchase.

Into the evening the long house of the Cliffen Rapid was filled to the brim with people. Amid the singers was Salme which made Novrus ache even more. He asked if she could help at his growing homestead. Again she declined with a smile hidden by her mug.
Heige began telling of their adventures. Especially the part of the spirit elk chased by a red foe. The tale seemed to be more spectacular then he remembered. Perhaps within a year the tale would be of smiting a whole warband.

In the morning Heige agreed to carry on farther south. On a large lake they visited a homestead at a place called “Quarrel islands”. There Novrus traded arrows for a smoked pike and a basket of hemp seeds. Off the same lakes was the village of Foxland. This to they visited.

Here Heige finally parted ways. He wanted to shop among the Kuamo with his gains then head back. They embraced as brothers in arms. Then went about their own matters. Novrus spoke with the villagers though likewise chose to leave this day.

Novrus skied back north along a slightly different route. In doing so he found the village of Pettru’s Rapids. After a short visit he carried on. Too tired to make a shelter he set his snares as noisemakers around him in notch of trees. Sleep didn’t stay with him. He felt better after using that rest as a respite to make a shelter. In the morning he set trail markers to find it again.

Arriving home on the 6th day of the 7th week before summer it was a pleasure to set a fresh heating flame in the fireplace. A pot of berries thickened with flour still had warmth though had become rather sticky. It was a second joy to find this forgotten meal waiting for him on his return.

 The drying meat outside was progressing decently. Checking the traps and fields he was surprised to see traders passing by in the woods. Novrus would have to move fast to get the trade fur to hope to catch them.

With various furs including the heavy winter bear fur he couldn’t find them. Nights darkness made long distance impossible. What was really peculiar is the tracks he did find was for squirrels.

Day 7 of the 7th week before summer

Waking up in the warmth of his home Novrus set to finish the shovel construction. It was wood working now. Using finer stocks from the woodpile the thrice forged metal shovel scoop received a sturdy handle. Come the melt digging clay or bog ore would be so much faster. So to would be the chore of turning over ash into new fields.

Prepared logs and moving by new construction was and would remain a chore for a long time. For a change of pace he went out on the lake for ice fishing. An offering of bear meat cut and sent in as bait and to feed the lake spirit. Far from the most skilled fisherman the Smith of the North was in the evening granted a pike and a roach. The small roach returned alive into the water to share with the benefactor.

Waking Novrus still felt the local wood was hostile. Could the winter spirit be different then the summer? Was he offending the forest? How? He really didn’t know. Checking the trap a deceased grouse may have been the cause. In the glutton trap Novrus had put a roach. Had the mix of lake and forest been the source of offense? After gutting the bird he put the bird’s meat as the bait in the trap. In the ceremonial circle he burned the roach in a smoky fire.

He later saw the traders now to the south east on the mire. This time he did catch up to them. They were not High Holders but from a Long Dineum. They had good weapons. However they would not accept Novrus’s entire stack of furs for one broadsword. This is why the north needs a smith.

One Long Dineum said, “Surely you understand. After all how many furs did you trade to get that battleaxe?”

Novrus’s face contorted as he tried to withhold and failed in restraining a grin.

“A Smith of the North made it,” he said.

The Long Dineum’s started to mutter together in their foreign tongue. The presence of smith here would lower the prices they could demand. Novrus felt wary of telling it was him lest they decide to guard their profits by killing him. As they muttered Novrus packed up his furs.

“A pity you declined the furs. He might have a use for them. He is hard to find though. I could use salt next time you come by. He doesn’t have any.”

He skied off before they might press him with questions.

<Novrus trade declined>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 09, 2018, 03:35:20 AM
Day 2 of the 6th week before summer begins

Novrus woke in the shelter of the house built as a sauna on one side and smoker on the other. In here in knew he was protected. The feelings with the forest puzzled his mind. Was it all the logs being arranged for new house? Did the forest see them as heaps of death rather than the new life they would have?

“Good walls are laid when you know the ground,” Grandfather had said.

With all the snow you could judge the ground. A smaller building might withstand twists and dips as frozen ground thaws. The larger the building the more risk there was from the twisting ground. This is why Novrus was gathering the logs without assembling the walls. A shaman might know more.

Setting his mind to task Novrus shifted rocks, stones and what dirt he could to a simpler forge. The larger forge stood nearby. It was to have diversity in tools Novrus did this. It might well need some tending in the spring. It too would shift from ice rises and melting dips. Stones, braced by rocks insulated by dirt was not so hard to make.
The first fire lit in it would have to contend with the moisture frozen in the dirt. Novrus placed a stack of branches and firewood, set it alight and left it to bake the small forge. To the spirits a sacrifice was put on the forge fire. It was in hopes of blessing the work ahead.
Seeing to other chores Novrus sighted a hare running close behind the smithy. Rather than hunt it he accepted the good omen. Work would be faster it meant, didn’t it? There was always uncertainty when it came to the spirits. We are not they and they are not us so neither thinks like the other.
Later the small forge’s fire went out at last. Novrus came back. Wetting his leather paws with snow he adjusted the shifted stones and rocks. Dirt, now depleted of moisture, became pushed into new cracks for sealing. Fresh frosty ground was gathered put on the outside. A new baking fire was started. This time spruce was added to increase the smoke as a way of testing the areas meant to be sealed. He watched it a while. With fresh snow on the leather paws to protect them more corrections were made. Finally he felt the small forge was suitable for work
As winter chores go smithing and improving a smithy are great ways to stay warm.

To relax ice fishing while the ice is safely thick is a suitable pass time. On returning a hare’s squeal alerted to the catch of the smith’s blessing. He decided to free the hare. It somehow seemed to be amiss to slay it. He was returning it to the spirits whole and alive.

Over the next few days the small forge was used to produce a knife blank for a large knife. It was also hard going for Novrus. His smithing skills had much to improve upon. Several times the work was reheated back to a basic shape to try again. At one point the snow even turned to rain. A sure sign of the coming season yet a great annoyance as the small forge was outside the cover of the smithy’s roof.

(Note: I have been cautious about having the small forge and the bloomery from Bouidda on the smithy floor. A fire in those objects likely counts as seating fire to the tile. That would set the building on fire if it was on a floor tile.)

Eventually he had the new self made broad knife tucked in a bird hide sheath. To celebrate the pot was filled with a lingonberry and rye porridge with matching berry turnovers to snack on over the next few days.

The next day his task was the forging of a second iron headed hammer. This one would have a ball shape on one side and a small smooth flat on the other. Compared to the first flat faced hammer these are better at making certain shapes. The ball for curves like pots and armor. The small flat was easier to grind to a fine polish for finishing work. These complimented the large flat face of the first iron hammer. In addition there were two stone hammers in the smithy each with a shape as unique as the stone it held.

This time Novrus was using the large forge. The heavy hammer’s weight requiring more steel than a knife. It was a fortunate choice as a continuous rain came down for hours. Under the smithy’s roof the work went on unhindered by rain drops making random coolings.

<Novrus 2 iron hammer>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 10, 2018, 01:43:18 AM
Day 2 of the 6th week before summer begins

Chores in plenty waited to build the new house or lay new fields once the frost left the ground. These were things to be done on warmer days. There was only two pieces of steel to forge which he thought to leave for a larger work. There were weeks yet the animals would be carrying their thicker winter furs. Thus Novrus decided to make another hunting trip. He could travel along that northern path toward the Point cave.

Already dressed in layers of fur and armor, with weapons of many types, Novrus gathered meats, berries and a pile of turnips. The latter he could trade at the villages he now new of.

Heige lived at one of these. Novrus thought of his friend. He hoped Heige had gotten home safely. It would be good to see him again.

Within a few hours of departure an elk was seen scouting the edge of a mire. Closing the elk slipped in amid trees. Recall the hub and wheel technique Novrus cut and pulled free branches. A few he stacked to make a hub marker. Skiing the first wheel circle didn’t find tracks. So he spiraled out wider. On the third wheel he found the elk’s tracks. Novrus gave a sacrifice to the spirits for the knowledge that had been passed down to him.

Hours of elk stalking. Sometimes Novrus skied with his bow in the free hand. Other times he set the pole to store so as to notch an arrow ready. Several times he could hear the elk flee from him. Sometimes he moved quiet and at others to make up the distance. He remembered at times to catch up his breath to better steady his aim. The elk likewise seem to graze between dashes.

Along the way he placed a turnip here and there as hubs in searches. Perhaps the elk might double back for a snack.

Then another set of tracks: wolf.

Probing along both elk and wolf tracks intertwined. Both became crisp fresh. Both were close. There might well be a mixed battle ahead.

<Novrus elk and wolf>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 10, 2018, 03:47:37 AM

Elk tracks curling around alone. Then the wolves are chasing it again.

There beyond a snowy spruce, a wolf.

Fly a broadhead arrow loosed. To high. The wolf’s ears perk to the sound of the rushing arrow wind.

The wolf moved on. Novrus recovered the arrow. His forging the head had stayed strong. Then a glimpse of the elk. Both beasts were quite close.

Son the trail was too confused to follow. Novrus usually relied in part on the elk escaping from him. Now with the wolf around the elk was being cross driven by two hunters. The over laid trails were so bad that Novrus found himself skiing up to search hub from an hour ago.

With the short distance traveled before skiing circles after the elk Novrus returned to sleep at home.

This morning it was reindeer seen on the mires of the hunting range.

These reindeer displayed two abilities. The first was that a small elk was traveling on the edge of the herd. The other was getting arrows lost on the mire.

It is a reindeer doe that finally catches an arrow. It struck in the joint of the foreleg, the elbow if it were two legged. Its staggering steps drained its energy. Soon it was slain with longer to skin and butcher. With the oncoming night Novrus would sleep in one of the pre-built shelters in the hunting range with loop snares for noise making guards.

<Novrus got RD not E or W>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 10, 2018, 09:04:05 PM
Day 3 of the 5th week before summer begins

Novrus rose feeling himself in good spirits. There wasn’t any indication of the forest spirit’s feelings good or bad. The house spirit certainly seemed happy with him. Goods were accumulating, the house had its uses and his adventurers were stories to share with the house spirit. Surely such things please a house spirit.

Sliding outside on his skies Novrus attended to the newest reindeer hide. He debated whether to de-hair it for leather but decided to treat it as a winter trade fur. He felt up to a new hunt. Before he should go out again it really was time to check the homestead trap line.

That’s when he found bear tracks. A few days old. Where had he been at the time? Out on the reindeer hunt? Or working in the smithy.

At first nervous it occurred to him the house spirit was indeed protecting him. The bear had probed the outer edges of the homestead, near the lake, without getting up to the house.

“I must follow this trail,” said Novrus, “At least to see what interested the bear.”

Still outfitted for hunting he skied behind the aged trail. It crossed the small lake he used as his shoreline. It crossed northward. The same direction as the fields and their spiked pit traps. There was a chance the bear was still there, trapped, angry and waiting.

Convinced enough there was a possibility he skied onto the fields. The spiked pit traps were still awaiting a guest. The bear had not come this far yet. He skied back to the lake to pick up the old trail.

Now he could see the bear! Across the lake and perhaps a 100 strides from the homestead.

The rail was soon taken up. It led back to the homestead. This time right up to the cabin. Perhaps exhausted the house spirit was too tired to repel the bear without the urgency of Novrus being inside. It had come up to the rain barrel to get its drink. The trail probed around the herd fence, empty of animals, and the house. It was if the bear knew to expect animals in such a compound.

There it was! Behind the house.

<Novrus house bear 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 10, 2018, 09:07:06 PM
(Note: Cleverly Novrus has an arrow not bow in hand to face the bear...  ::) )
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 11, 2018, 01:39:26 AM
Three arrows fired yet none hit. The bear bolting after the second. Novus waddle runs on the skis but can’t match its speed through the deep snow. Returning to skiing style Novrus pauses to recover his breath.

“The steady breath fires a steady arrow,” he said.

Gaining the trail again the bear was back at the house. The backside was wear the wolf and reindeer meat was hung to dry in the cold winter air.

There the bear. At first glance Novrus thinks the larger glutton traps have captured it. He skis boldly forward to get a clear shot. Roaring rampage the bear charges! It is unhindered and unharmed by the trap.

Its on Novrus before he can trade ski pole for arrow. Bashing paw smacks his right arm dropping the Flower Wild bow into the snow.

Towering high the she bear throws its chest to crush Novrus. Novrus wide eyed behind the lynx mask skids back and left on the skis. The bear slams on the snow turning its head with snarling maw.

Novrus axe comes from his belt. Wrist twirl the cutting edge cuts hard on its right hind leg. Bear stumbles in the snow as muscles fail to respond properly.
In the bear’s recovery round shield is found, brought to center and with true battle axe ready to battle. The fight with that agile Red foe flashes through his mind. How now will Bear’s battle go? Less agile and far more power. The battle where Nilla died flashes through his mind. There is no man companion here. Now he has a battleaxe forged at this very stead. Here the house spirit is surely with him. How though does the forest spirit feel? So often it has been like an ocean wave sometimes friendly and sometimes angry.

The she bear is up. Novrus is ready. Shield on center with axe on center upright guard. They clash anew.

Bear found its footing again made to crush the standing foe. An axe swing clipped only the tips of fur. The bear bangs on the shield but it is held to sway. The bear slides off without finding purchase for an impact.

Axe swung downward founds only snow as the bear made an impulsive move to the side. Its snapping jaws over extend finding but air as Novrus ski-shifts left again. Once again the axe finding mass to cut on the she bear’s right hindleg. The two cuts in fact criss cross as a lop sided X. She bear limps the faulty leg.

 Cunning calls and Novrus withdraws. The she bear staggers away. Novrus advances to regain the Flower Wild bow and notch an arrow.

Running as a plow in deep snow turns to panting quite soon. Novrus slows recalling the sage advice to recover your breath. Breath is caught to become steady once more.

Stealth produces sight of the bear. She licks at her bloodied hip. Then roars. Sound or smell had given Novrus away.

A broad head arrow leaps from the Flower Wild bow. Bear had turned in a wounded spray of snow leaving the arrow to find only spruce. On she comes ferocious and wounded.

Novrus draws again his battle axe.

“Bear Biter,” his mind hears in echo of spirit talk.

This then the name of the battle axe.

Snapping jaws grind on red foe lamellar across his torso. Pushed by the muzzle Novrus’s axe cuts but only a little of a shoulder. She lets go of her bite. In turn this lets ski footed Novrus keep his balance.

Practiced from shield wall training Novrus again swaps from ski pole to shield. The shield in time to be snapped backward yet still held by a mighty paw. Axe swishes air as shield again is battered by a clawed mound of fur called the bear’s arm. Axe and paws exchange. The she bear realizes she is being bested. As she turns Bear-biter finds a shoulder artery. Spurting blood the bear turns to find only sturdy shield.

Novrus steps back. All to often he has seen such wounds of crippling still present a dangerous attacker. Better to let the red blood flow while it will. As a man of flesh and blood it is still true that one blow might still ruin his day or his life.

Onward the bear claws and Novrus backs off again. Taking out his two good luck rocks he whips them at the bear to hasten its passage. A few hits later bring the bear to falter into unconsciousness. It breaths only a little longer as the back side of the axe Bear-biter brings blood from the skull and a knife point first shoved into the neck expands the rate of blood draining.

Now with improved practice Novrus takes away the hide. Around the axe cuts he is careful to keep them no bigger. He makes quick stitches with bits of thread and needles for recently living flesh might still bond a little. A cut of flesh giving in thanks to the forest spirit and back at the house another to house.

Preparation of the bear meat is split between drying, next to wolf and reindeer meat, and smoking inside. A few portions being roasted for fresh enjoyment.

As to the hide Novrus decides that tough bear leather would make good summer armor. Cleaned for hours then placed in the lake to hold it in place near two weeks will be needed to soften away the hair. In the evening Novrus skis across the lake to place the bear skull in a pine. The bear’s tracks pass beside one such lonely pine. This seems spiritually right to put the skull in this pine next to a path known to the bear. Its spirit should be swift in its cycle from death back to life.

In the morning a gentle breeze managed its way to Novrus. Once again the forest spirit was smiling again.

Chores for the day involved preparing the reindeer hide and processing two birds in the homestead trap.

The bears close approach to all but claw the homestead logs was still a point of concern. Winter still held the ground in an icy grip that no shovel could effectively pierce. Recalling the tale of Beodrin on Bear Island Novrus build a bear three-tree trap.
Three thick tree trunks hoisted by three lighter trunks all lashed together. Bait was hung at the intersection high off the ground. With luck a tampering bear would become pinned by the tree trunks. For a location he picked a spot the bear had patrolled on its own, between the herd fence and the homestead.
Having been preparing for the new house building the different trunks where available from the stockpiles. A leather rope was in his collection of tools. One made months ago.

Next day he sliced, braided and spliced bird hides to replace the on-hand leather rope. Yet another bird was in the homestead traps. He was considering stopping the bird traps as there was large stocks of meat in preparation. The ongoing need for leather suggested to keep them in place. There was also that bird dying alone in the traps may have been angering the forest spirit. He decided to take them down until he should have crops planted again. Defensive ones near the cellar and house would stay up. So to would be those for foxes, gluttons and bears.

This also proved a good day to reset those traps being left up. Bait meats, many decaying, were stored amid a cluster traps at the back of the homestead. The cooking smells were prone to drawing beasts. Those that do, like the bear, could still be caught. This took to early afternoon. A poor time to head out on mire hunt. He decided to do maintenance on the pit traps nearby.

An elk was clomping its fore hooves at the first pit checked! A full size elk. Its head swaying back and forth as it tried and failed to get momentum so surmount the edge to freedom. Perhaps the mother to the small elk seen with reindeer herd a few days ago. A bombardment of stones, rocks and woods on hand proceeding bashing its neck into unconsciousness with Bear-biter.

It harvesting gave a great quantity of food. The smoker was already fuming for the bear meat. A portion of elk would go to smoking. Most to drying. There was so many meats drying and smoking from different days Novrus had to take up a piece of bark. Using a charcoal as pen he marked down the weeks and days of the season ahead. By this figuring he figured he now has meat finishing preparation every week from here to the start of summer.
So great the harvest he decided to take meat to Flower Wild to trade or gift. That would be after the dawn for he still had much work to do with the hide. He decided to also dehair the hide for leather. This would be bear leather for armor and elk leather for any tools or crafts.

<Novrus go trade 1>

Days to remember:
>>day 6 of the 4th wolf meat dry
>>day 2 of the 3rd bear hide dehair at homestead lake
>>day 4 of the 3rd elk hide dehair at homestead lake
>>day 5 of the 3rd bear meat smoke
>>day 1 of the 2nd meat elk smoke
>>day 6 of the 2nd reindeer meat dry
>>day 7 of the 2nd bear meat dry
>>day 3 of the week 1 meat elk dry
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 11, 2018, 03:39:11 AM
Thanks for 600 views!

I know with my posting, editing and so forth 1/4 to 1/3 are my own. Still I am happy to know some mysterious people are viewing. That any views is at least more than the limited admins checking for inappropriate content  ::)

If you would like to share your thoughts on the story so far or to come now is good time for a little banter.

My <tag> system will let me carry on the story from where I left off.

There is more to come. As creative writing exercise it has been quite good for my skills and to be honest my health.

Thank you reader for joining the journey. More are to come.
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 11, 2018, 04:51:50 AM

Day 7 of the 5th week before summer.

It was now noon when chores were in order for Novrus to travel to Flower Wild. He smiled at the thoughts of the feast to be had with the over one hundred pounds of meat he was bringing them. He checked the door way trap one last time before going. The others guarding his homestead having just been given maintenance.

Along the way he paused to assemble a shelter to mark the turning point from south east to east to find Flower Wild. He scouted to find a hidden spot that could be guarded with just two noisy traps. Spruce twigs were gathered to lay over the crossbar placed onto the notches of two uprights. More spruce was laid as a bedding. A fire circle of rocks and stone was made with extra stones for roasting. Trail markers of three smalls to one large were laid in different directions with rocks to stones and spruce twigs to spruce bundles. The delay though had taken the sun to early evening. Sadly this would mean the meat arriving to late for feast tonight.

The village was ghost like when he arrived. It took a few minutes of his burdened and fatigued skiing to find them. The shaman, Hanno, had gathered them on the north edge for a ceremony. Andde the woodsman had been left to guard the Kotas. Inside one  Norus traded a third of the meat for a rusty handaxe which had seen better days. This to him was metal. Metal he could reforge into other things.

He gave two days of meat, five pounds, to the woman named Elen. The same he gifted to Hanno the shaman, to Heandarak the helpful, the young lady Oaja and old-man Antti.

Duongi sought out Novrus. He questioned Novrus if he had seen the Grey Man of the forest. Novrus openly said he had not despite two efforts which seemed to draw him near. They talked about Novrus’s unsteady ties to the forest spirit. Niether could fully explain the whys of the spirits but that is why there are Shamans. Even the shamans have concerns with the spirits at times too. Like then Flower Wild’s doe had been taken into concealment with the forest. Novrus gave Duongi ten pounds of meat to be freer to think on the matter.

Old man Elijas, Sabbe the hunter and the woman Ada were given their meat gifts. Novrus had been reluctant with Ada as she seemed to be woman passing her prime. She said it was to feel warm meat in her hand like her deceased husband would give her. Novrus wasn’t sure what to make of this but felt he she had eyes like a hunter looking for prey.

With the last of the meat he bartered for a pair of arrows. In part to make up for those lost in actions. That done they village settled down to share stories with and hear them from Novrus. A bit of the meat gifts were cut to small strips, spiced and pot fried. They were handed out as snacks with hot spruce tea.

Novrus decided against asking them for help at the homestead. They should see him as a friend not as one buying them off. Nilla might well still be on their minds. Nilla was at times in Novrus’s thoughts. The recent bear battle certainly had made that clear.

Shaman Hanna spoke, “Novrus you did not come alone. There is a spirit with you. One whose name you have not spoken.”

Novrus looked about the gathered people. He knew what the shaman meant. Novrus stood up taking his shield up in his left hand. Upon it the scratches and bangs of battle. His right hand pulled up then held high the battle axe.


Novrus let its name sink in among the Flower Wild. Their village-man had died just months ago to bear. Now before them was a bear killing axe.

“Birthed by a Smith of the North,” continued Novrus, “Metal and wood of the north are its grandparents. Its name found in battle. A battle with bear that wandered amongst my very homestead. I felt a calm fury with it in my hand.”

Novrus brought the axe down to a vertical guard behind and above the shield.

“We have slain bear together. We have slain many together. It was a few nights ago with the homestead probing bear its name was called out. First not by me but a mind voice.”

Hanno added, “A spirit voice.”

Novrus went on to describe the battle. Bear-biter swished the air while Novrus ducked and stumbled. Both portraying the name fight. He did not speak of thinking of Nilla thought shaman Hanno’s gaze seemed to mean he already knew. Had it been Nilla from the spirit world who named Bear-Biter?

So it was Flower Wild learned Bear-Biter’s name.

Each person of Flower Wild was allowed to hold Bear-Biter. To air swing it a few times. Even the children met the axe as if it was a village-man. At slumber time Novrus had Bear-Biter resting in its leather blade sheath.

On awakening Novrus politely slipped out from his Flower Wild neighbors. The paths home were well known. The new shelter gave him a good mental map image to steer for as turning point. At home all seemed in good order. The rusty handaxe and new arrows were stored. He decided to go out hunting again. He knew now the mires north and north-west were well suited to spotting large game.

At the shelter used returning from the recent reindeer catch he added more trail markers. Stone were gathered to start a fire ring, though the shelter’s position was not ideal for having both guarded approaches and a fire. As he worked around the snows he noticed the snow melted by rain showing the tip of ant hill just a few strides from the shelter. Perhaps he might try the Grey Man meeting ritual here one night.

<Novrus ant hill shelter>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 11, 2018, 07:05:44 PM

Day 1 of the 4th week to summer season

Novrus awoke rolling on the spruce bedding over snow with a spruce roof  covered in snow. With no fire he still felt rather warm inside his layers of armors, furs and cloths. Rain had come now and then the past few days contorting the landscape’s snow into melted then refrozen decorations. Among this he would be hunting the northern mires.

On his ski he spotted a man in the distance who was not found on coming closer. Novrus remembered he was wearing lamellar armor which could be taken as a warrior coming for battle.

A few hundreds past an elk was seen. This was a time of bounty. Through here and now a migration may be taking place. Placing a hub marker, four branches leaning together like a pyramid, his wheel circles soon found the elk’s fresh tracks.

Closing up it is a small elk. Perhaps the one that had been with the reindeer and perhaps yearling calf to the she elk caught in the pit. A shot fired is a miss for a lost broadhead arrow.

Searching on the trail is kept fresh whirling amid spruce.

When a growling man steps up to Novrus!

<Novrus robber 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 11, 2018, 08:35:52 PM
Bear-Biter calls to be held. Novrus puts away his ski pole for the proven battle companion to take its place.

“Who are you?” ask Novrus, “I know the villages near here well.”

“We are the ones who will take from you. Submit and live well. Resist and feel pain,” replied he man.

“Just as would rob my village neighbors no doubt. I shall give you my axe. Edge first!”

“We have known,” said the robbers, “hunters would come for the elk. I say we because I am not alone!”

The man whistles and another man emerges farther back among the spruce.

Novrus readies his shield, shuffles to get his back to trees when the first robber lands a staff stab to his hit. Perhaps it was meant to trip him but this it did not do. Yet it did unbalance him from getting Bear-Biter to connect on the next swing. The two fought again Novrus placing the axe across the robber’s hip while his padding protected him from the staff.

Novrus shifted back and turned to have good strong spruce covering his blind rear. On came the robber thrusting with the staff. Novrus catches it on his shield, angled to send the staff sideways. Bear-biter whips down and draws back. The hook of the axe beard catching the staff. Caught between shield and axe the staff pulls sideways out of the unbalanced man’s grip.

First robber was swinging a club. Novrus tried to connect with bear biter. It is a hand-and-a-half handle. Useable though off balance with one  hand needed for a shield. The robber uses a missed swing to mash fur padding with his club. Second robber was getting close at hand also wielding a staff.

Novrus notes their blunt weapons are of little use against his furs. Shield is slid behind. Now both hands grip Bear-Biter.

Now a gale of club, staff and axe. The second staff falls to the snow, the club swishes and Bear-Biter cleaves the first robber’s knee! The man howls falling to roll in the snow grasping the tear above the right knee. Novrus focuses on the fallen as he rises with a broad knife coming out. The left is cut though lightly. The second robber ineffective in blows.

Fury of blows with all throwing snow in their efforts. A club blow turned to thrust bangs off Novrus’ helm. The sound ringing like hammer to anvil. Axe can’t find deep flesh and a club slams a numbing strike on the ball joint of his shoulder. Bear-Biter shifts in the hand yet stays with him as if an unseen hand kept it there.

If Bear-Biter was named by Nilla of the Owl then it must know as Novrus does these robbers would ambush any of the Owl they can come upon. Their cunning to lay near large game would surely bait lone hunters  out as prey.

Novrus swung for legs now Bear-Biter wants to cut arms. A knife stab finds the shoulder meat of Novrus. The first robber has seen no fear on his opponent. His turn to flee saving his arm from being bitten.

Limping first robber’s speed is slow. Novrus growls as the Biter cleaves into the backside hip. The other robber makes to strike on the side. Novrus shoves Bear-Biter backward putting the butt of the haft hard into the second robber’s hip.

The swirl of blows low and high. Bear-Biter finds a shoulder. The wound squeals with blood from the second robber.

With one robber unable to walk and the other bleeding Novrus shifts out of his spot then back to another. This outdistances the reach of the crippled first robber. The second comes after him with furious desperate strikes.

Between thrust with a second robber’s northern knife Novrus resumes the use of his shield. He was starting to pant. With shield cover he can better recover his breath.

Second robber stabs unable to get around the shield. Novrus axe hooks the outstretched arm. With an arc the knife is flung into the snow.

Disarmed the second robber reverts to desperate kicking. He has not the skill of that agile red foe. Bear-Biter cuts along the outstretched thigh. All the while the bitten shoulder pumping blood onto the snow.

Novrus blocks several unarmed blows with his shield. His breath only partially recovered before he strikes and misses. The bleeding second robber grabs the shield to pull it aside. Novrus twists back with Bear-Biter severing a forearm. The hand and arm bit falling faster onto the snow then the slumping robber. The axe blow is kept in momenteum, brought high, wrist turned and the backside smashes onto the fallen robber’s skull. Braced by the ground the skull erupts in brain matter. This foe slain.

Novrus glares at the first robber arm crawling across the snow.

“Brother!” the robber shouts.

Bear-Biter in hunger is thrown landing edge first amid the robber’s ribs. Howling in pain the robber pulls the axe free. In frenzy approaching at the speed of elbow dragging. A hand axe through the air follows cutting only snow. A rock throw bounces. Novrus draws his self made broad knife. The crawling first robber holds just the club to have a hand free for pulling forward in a hateful vengeance.

Novrus speaks, “I regret your spirits will not remain amid your flesh to warn others to try no foul deed here.”

At his brother the robber fishes out a bow and arrow. Before he can notch the arrow Novrus steps forward, kneels and stabs in the abdomen. The robber goes limp. The knife edge is drawn across the neck.

Novrus laughs, “At least they were decent enough to die on top of each other. There needs be only one funeral pyre!”

Stripping them Novrus then sets to cleaning and dressing his wound. Snow begins to settle perhaps the spirits offering to bury the robbers its own. Novrus shifts his clothes to secure the bandage when the small elk trots nearby. It bolts as Novrus gets his hand axe ready to throw. Away into the spruce it goes. Novrus laughs.

The funeral logs are brought among the two. They are laid ontop of each other, covered in spruce and the smoky bright fire lit. The elk would be nearly two hours gone now.

Almost forgotten he picks up the severed hand with half a forearm. He tosses it into the blaze.

<Novrus robbers slain 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 12, 2018, 01:35:55 AM
An elk’s cough was heard though only hour old tracks found. Novrus made to sky for home or a shelter. He slumped face first into the snow. Exhaustion or a drugged knife wound abating his progress.

Circling a few strides for a defensible hiding spot getting two snare noisemakers up is all he could do before his eyes could no longer open.

He woke up with snow fall moistening his face. Brushing it off he stood. Alive. He was still alive. It was the start of the morning rising light. He must have slept for nearly half a day. A meal of meats and a drink of cool water from the skin tucked inside his fur clothing.

He decided to ski north. To tell and warn the village. To learn if anyone was missing or lately robbed. Also perhaps their healer could check his shoulder wound.

The village of Greulfen can into view with the sun still clearing the southern horizon. Young Uddi had clambered up a pine tree to see who was coming.

“Novrus! Its been a long time!”

Novrus lifted up his lynx face fur, “That is has. Be a good lad. I have news for your head man. Run ahead to tell him. That’s a good boy.”


Uddi slid down the tree. Like a lynx he bounded as much as he could in the deep snow. He would tire soon but surely not before the word got out.

Only a few ski strides more had Novrus taken before Lauri the shaman approached.

“As I saw,” said Lauri, “Now let me see your wounds.”

“You saw?” asked Novrus.

“That a wounded friend was coming. This the forest sang. Only a few could have heard it.”

Lauri busied with probing the shoulder wound. With a knitting needle he flecked out a sliver of steel. Novrus told him of the robbers and their demise.

“All our people are safe,” Lauri said.

Novrus was pleased. Before he could be questioned more Lauri sat down with his back against a pine tree. His snoring was almost instant.

Novrus then set about trading. The bandits had a northern bow which with other goods traded for a fur. The fur and bits of bandit clothing traded for one of Gruelfen’s fine northern bows. The two they had had a better spring to them. Lauri explained the best bent trees had been used to make three of them. The pick of the year’s fishing had done into the skin backing. One was with a long adventuring village man and his wife who traveled to the south west. These two were set for trade else gifts.

Lauri said, “I am happy to trade you for it. The bandits were a risk to us as you say. I feel this is both a trade and gift to you Novrus. What you traded, the robber’s goods, is proof too you defend this land, spirits and our people.”

Carrying on he found a good spot for a hunting shelter. He had learned that having longs views of mires in different direction was superb for spotting distant large game. He set a shelter up but while setting the trail markers for it found a better one.

The loop snare noisemakers, of which he now carried four, aided in the security of these scattered rest spots. Novrus reflected one could put lever traps or others at them. The problem is that you would not come by often enough to find the catch. They would rot uselessly. This was improper for a hunter and certain to anger the spirits. The loop snares you could easily pick up and take with you. In fact one might know to make primitive cordage and leave enough at a camp. For now Novrus preferred to carry those he used.

Day 4 of the 4th week to summer season.

Scouting the mires toward the Point cave was so far without game. He might sleep in the cave tonight then head back to attend to the drying wolf meat. There was a flash of a figure a few hours from the Point cave.

Novrus skied closer to see. A Nerjpez Red foe with little gear. Perhaps an outcast or outlaw expelled. Perhaps a member of war band that fell behind. The closer view showed he had at best a hand axe for a weapon. Novrus felt little concern in fighting. Then he checked himself.

“Treat each battle as one that matters. It makes you ready for the ones that are,” Grandfather had said.

The chase is brief with Red Foe doubling back almost immediately. Red foe swings first and in doing so the hand axe slipped from his frost bitten hands. Now with a plain knife Red Foe fights for his life. Novrus switches shield behind fearing little from the knife. Blows, misses and dodges. Then Bear-Biter cuts his torso as the man leans forward. Immediately Novrus’s left knee screams in pain as the knife thrust comes home.

“Treat each battle as one that matters. It makes you ready for the ones that are,” Grandfather had said.

Novrus flopped along a spruce’s branches spraying snow as he fell. Novrus tries to butt thrust but red foe is on him with the knife stabbing his abdomen. In the flailing of almost over top becoming a tumbling knee-gouging head-butting tumbling both lose their weapons.

Novrus gets a hand on the head of Bear-Biter not the haft, just so the Red foe couldn’t get it. His other hand draws his self-made broad knife. Dueling knives exchange attempts at cuts and stabs. Novrus uses Bear-Biter as a crutch for the pain in his knee.

Novrus holds defensive like that. One hand on the top of Bear-Biter for support the other with the leveled broad knife. Disarmed the Red foe begins to speak in his foreign tongue. Was he offering a truce?

With no response Red-Foe suddenly kicks! Novrus, little skilled in knife fighting, misses with his counter thrust. The kick wallops but padded fur dissipates its energy and Bear-Biter keeps Novrus standing.

Novrus repositions with a reverse bent over kick tapping his face but lacking in force to harm. Bewildered the broad knife is lipped back into the sheath. A tuck of his abdomen avoids the next kick.

Novrus sums up his fierceness. Facing the pain he pulls Bear-Biter to hand. The swing misses. Red foe keeps up a desperate fury while Novrus swings rarely seeking to gain the breathing advantage.

Its hardly working as sky fills Novrus’s vision. Flat on his back the Red Foe stomps on his ribs. Lamellar metal padded by furs limit it to the shame of being ground pounded.

With an axe threat Novrus gets to his feet. Looking past he can see Red Foe’s dilemma. He had gone into a circle of trees with only one way out. The way were Bear-Biter is swinging. Red foe can not escape. Novrus reverts to shield and axe. Behind the shield to recover.

Kicks and punches at the shield do little. Red foe slips but rolls to avoid the axe. Rising they exchange again. Then Red foe’s face contort, he crumples. Bear-Biter had found his groin!

The next blow cuts half way through the neck and Red foe is finished.

By the light of smoky funeral pyre Novrus dresses his wounds. The new knee stab and the puncture in his left shoulder.

Novrus was happen to the Point cave finding its door needing to be freed of a light layer of ice to open. He set the near-door safeguard trap before starting a fire and enjoying rest in the furnished portion of the cave.

Waking he was even sweating in the heated cave. The foods he had packed though were running out. He should have traded for a food at Gruelfen as well. The Red foe had food but that and a portion of the clothes were burned on the funeral pyre. After eating hard tack and a turn over he gave herbal leaves for the cave spirit.

There was a stock of food in the cave stores. That had been wise to bring. He took up some of the turnips and one portion of dried meat.

It seemed fitting to reward the cave with an expansion of the furnished area. A few more strides of floor boards were balanced, wedged and pegged into place. Within the safety of the cave he again cleaned and dressed his wounds. The stored water was stale and cold. First he placed the wood bowl on a chimney ledge to warm at least. Spruce twigs and branches were put into storage with spruce now as bedding on top the second sleeping bunk.

<Novrus at Point cave 3>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 12, 2018, 03:04:16 AM
Setting out from the Point cave Novrus spied a bear far to the south west. He had thought he had glimpsed one a day or so ago but unconfirmed had dismissed it from his journaling mind. Now the consideration is it following him? Had the funeral pyre’s smoke drawn it? Had the spirits sent it as a reward? Was a man killer bear awoken by all these?

It was north of a mire pocket in the spruce woods. Perhaps there to drink easily upon breaking mire ice with its mighty paws. Novrus skied there. A large boulder made a good hub for the search. A near, middle, far and farther still circle skied around the hub found fresh bear tracks to follow.

Upon hearing snorting he ski waddles with bow and arrow at hand. The Gruelfen chosen laminted bow prepared to find foe. He steps and pauses. Snorts. Step and pause to listen. A few more like that with snorts.

There the bear!

<Novrus bear post cave 3>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 12, 2018, 05:55:15 AM
Gruelfen’s bow sung a tune as the string vibrated from the loosed arrow.

Straight into the bear’s abdomen it flew. Deeply the arrow plunged. The small bear face plowed into the snow. Blood bubbling out coated the snow.

Novrus advanced thinking the bear unconscious but it regained its senses. It was dazed not knowing what had happened. It realized the source as the second arrow stabbed into its thorax. Likely hitting a rib bone as it stuck firm but not deep.

Novrus glanced to his quiver full of trade acquired arrows to spot the fletching of a broad head arrow. The kind more likely to give bleeding wounds. As arrow was brought to bow the bear wasn’t in sight but in sound of its pounding charge.

It came to view a few strides away on the other side of a spruce. Broad head arrow like lightning cut into the bear.

Novrus now made ready Bear-Biter. Cuts slash the bear’s hide as it rears up. Jaws rip through the lynx face mask drawing blood from the face of Novrus. The sight of the teeth so close to his eyes is not one he will ever forget. The bear sways as blood lose and damages tamper with its balance.

Both hands are on Bear-Biter. The crank stroke in downward vertical plunge is the choice made. The fore hand diving with the rear hand rising. Together accelerating the axe strike to horrendous speeds. Bear-Biter finds the bear’s eye! Deep the bite! AS the bear falls in instant death Bear-Biter is brought with it. Novrus keeping grip but not wanting to break the blade plunges into the snow. It takes a boot braced on the slain bear’s snout to extract the battle axe.

Right away Novrus goes to clean the face wound. He curses angrily at himself for having forgotten to replenish his water skin.

As he sets to the chore of removing the bear’s hide rain begins. Novrus shifts off the mask and hood. Leaning his head back he turns his face to the gift of the rain spirit to wash his wounds and hands. As minutes of rain wash pass he remembers he has red foe and robber clothes left in his bundle. A bandage piece is cut free then applied to his face. As if knowing this once the bandage is on the rain turns to gentle snow.

The small bear is butchered. Novrus would stagger under the load but he did bear it. He laughed at the pun. Through the night he tries to reach Wolf’s Tip village. He stopped to break ice for water. While he did refill his water skin it drained his energy so he fell asleep amid random trees.

The next morning the village is spied a few hundred strides onward. Valde the shaman applies herb poultices to his three wounds. Novrus relates the story gifting Valde a stack of bear meat.

Valde spoke, “In this short time you gained on a reindeer, an elk, two bears, two robbers and Red foe. Novrus, take a rest. Your ambitions are making quests you body can’t keep up with.”

Novrus grinned under the face poultice, “I think you are right.”

Valde added, “Best take one of the men with you to see you safely through any more battles.”

“I consent to your wisdom,” said Novrus.

Heige was nearby. Concerned about the fresh wounds he still could not part from his own duties here. Another of the Wolf’s Tip hunters named Gealbu owed the shaman a duty debt so agreed to come. Food was easy to provide with all the bear meat.

Novrus traded for goods mostly to lighten his load by paying for it in bear meat. Roasted cuts where traded for a little more than their weight in fresh cuts. Novrus gave Gealbu a recently bought juniper bow and a hand plus one of arrows. He also gave him a bowl. These were to be as payment and in part as gift for hunting the same mires. Then Novrus with Gealbu as escort skied off southward for the homestead.

It was still morning when they saw a man in the distance. Novrus was panting hard. Gaelbu warned to rest first lest the man be another robber. Novrus agreed. The man wasn’t trying to hide as they came near.

“I think I know him,” said Gaelbu, “Its Niila. A woodsman who passed through our village yesterday.”

They spoke with Niila warning of the robbers.

“Well if they are dead they are no longer a problem,” said Nilla.

Nilla was unwilling to trade so they skied on.

At noon they spotted a bear. Norus eyed it hungrily.

Gaelvu leaned close to whisper, “Remember but the shaman said”

Novrus was shaken out of his blood lust. He wiped snow over his face wincing when it pushed on the bandage. Indeed he had first thought the two of them could down this bear forgetting how wounded he already is. Shaman Valde had been right to have someone see Novrus home. More than to save him in battle but to save him from going into battle!

Day 1 of the 3rd week before summer

Noon and late Novrus with Gaelbu arrived at the homestead. A big fox was trapped behind the house! There are fresh reindeer tracks to!

The fox was laid low but there were chores to do before pursuing the reindeer. Besides some may already being the pit traps. What was left of the bear meat was added in the smoker’s rafters and a fresh smoky fire started. An arctic fox was found dangling in a homestead paw board. The bear’s skull was put in an honor tree and the hide needed its hours of work. In fact it took the rest of the day.

While Novrus did chores Gaelbu made a tour of the homestead. He spent over an hour in the smithy studying the forges, bellow, hammers and other tools. When it came to working the large hides Gaelbu joined in the work. After all hunters often partake of tanning the hides of their kills. Novrus asked many questions of the Owl huntsman how to tend for reindeer should he put one,or more, in the the herd pen.

The next days check of pit traps did indeed find one had caught a reindeer. Chores would take the three days Gaelbu was to stay. Even then there was a few days more what with all the game caught at the field plus the large hides took a great deal of work.

<Novrus so much hide>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 13, 2018, 03:13:04 AM
Day 7 of the 3rd week before summer.

There were many small hides to process. The de-haired elk hide would soon give leather to go with the leather bear hide. The small bear’s fur joined the reindeer and fox furs. That work took th rest of the day.

Nest morning the elk hide for leather was moved farther to finished. Recalling the rusty hand axe trade Novrus set about getting its iron. Compared to working with fresh wet ores even a rusty axe was relatively “pure”. The resulting iron could use cleaning up. He decided to carburize one which might also along the clean the rust back to iron. Worked for a third of a day the resulting steel was as good as any other.

Another craft challenge was to replace his awkward ski stick. He made another and found it not much better. The next attempt he got the leather ski cup to catch the snow properly. The thicker carved shaft bent only slightly under the heavier loads of him, furs, armor, weapons and carried goods.

It still nags Novrus he hasn’t gotten salt. No trader has had any. He might manage a fast ski of three or four day to the southern shore then back before the river ice becomes unstable. If he doesn’t go now the slush months will interfere with boating. He decides he will go. Tonight he packs trade furs wrapped around arrows, a red foe shortbow and knives. His travel bag is packed with extra meat, a cup, bowl, an extra water skin, bandages and herbs.

When he awakes one last smoker fire is started. Extra wood and extra spruce piled in. With the doors kept closed the smoke should hover for amid the rafters for many days. Amid the ceremonial ring he starts a small smokey fire giving away a turnip to the forest spirit asking for it to watch over the house spirit and the homestead. The house spirit receives its own gift of meat.

Day 4 of the 2nd week before sumer.

Now well into his southward ski his path takes the opportunity to explore new ways and rivers. On one he finds a Kuamo village new to him: Holler Wide. They had foods and a few knives for sale. He had a long journey ahead so he did not stay long.

A stead of bronze workers was nearby. There he found a beautiful bronze bear pendant. Being the maker and wielder of Bear-Biter it seemed to call to him to carry it. Unrolling his trade goods they settled for the short bow, the ten pound reindeer fur and a few smaller furs. This also reduced the load he would be carry over the next days. He likewise purchased a small brooch, paid for in furs and arrows to likewise reduce his trade burden.

“Gain tail” was the next Kuamo settlement he found. It was only a few hours from Holler Wide. They had a few trade items but none called to Novrus for ownership.

He made south west to scout the edge of the Kieese tribal lands. He slept in the woods in his layers of fur. The next morning he skied across a wide frozen lake. Off the south western bank were Kieese homesteads. The Gore Mountains homestead had a small sheep herd. Perhaps on the way back he might purchase one as a source of wool.

At night a hidden shelter with trail markers was set. Skiing on he realizes if he diverts a little west he might manage a trip home. They might think him a failure to return so soon. Then he could show them the metal armor he won in a battle that might have killed him and the broad knife forged at his own smithy.

Day 6 of the 2nd week before summer.

Novrus skis into his home Reemi village of Rumeara, the Ugly Wild. With such a name could you blame him for leaving?

He met those clan mates like Peeka Peeka the stuttering old man, the unpleasant Jerkko, craftsman Tepu the teacher and Nestor the reliable Woodsman. There were family members like his overweight crafting uncle Olli the Rolly and his wife the feeding Aunt Kati. Both had looked after Novrus when his parent were taken by winter sickness. His grandfather had carried many wounds of battle. He had passed peacefully in the summer after Novrus had left. All but Jerkko were pleased to see Novrus though Peeka Peeka seemed to no remember him leaving.

The herd cows and bulls shifted in their pen. One cow he knew was missing. Kati said she had tasted good.

Novrus felt dismay and calm at his grandfather’s passing. He could recall who aching joints, off set bone fractures and other wounds had troubled the master of militia of the nearby Reemi. Jerkko had wanted that role but the refusal only added to his bitterness. Novrus felt better on giving Peeka Peeka two cuts of meat of he gnawed on.

Novrus pondered if the times he had remembered his grandfather’s advice had it been the body freed spirit coming to him?

Novrus spent that night in the villages great hall. A building of  girth not unlike the new house he was planning. Novrus woke before sunrise with Jerkko staring at him with cold eyes. He decided to hurry on his quest for salt. Today the reindeer meat should be done drying far back north at the homestead.

Midnight had not yet come with it being a deep black night. It was even more surprising to come across an elk in the black. It was if the local Reemi-friend spirits were gifting him with a sign of love.  He could not forgo the offer for if this elk was caught its meat would fill the cellars of his home.

After over an hour of trying to close Novrus made a sacrifice praising the elk’s skill. They had shown him favor by giving him elk sight but it was his destiny to be in other lands, to be the smith of the north. He skied on south to hurry on his salt quest.

 In the breaking daylight a Red foe by spruce watched him skin on the mires. Novrus turned for him and the Red foe did not shy away.

<Novrus southern red foe>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 13, 2018, 04:52:51 AM

Novrus and the Red foe stared at each other a hundred yards away. Novrus desired to catch his breath before the battle. He took a drink from his water skin and ate two cuts of meat. All the while he boldly stood in view of the Red Foe. As he finished eating Red Foe seemed to lose courage and began to slide into hiding. Novrus grinned under his lynx-like face mask. He had one the first part of the duel.

He was unable to find Red foe’s footprints. Some of their magic must have been used. He did fire at an elk on the mire but missed. He chased it a short time before returning to his southward trek. He reach the south coast with its broad ocean of salt water. Hopefully soon someone would have salt for trade.

He searched several other villages not finding salt. All he found was more and more worry he needed to return to the homestead to store the meats. Skiing into the night he saw a glimpse of a figure. He felt he should get closer. 

It was a Red foe that two arrows missed. Then it became a chase as the sworn enemy pounded through the snow with Novrus skiing after him. In the tracking the Red foe was lost when the footprints were intertwined with those of a Reemi adventurer named Miku. He too was hunting the Red foe. Novrus decided to leave him to it.

Feeling defeated in the salt quest Novrus used the trade goods to obtain a starter group of sheep. Two sheep and a young ram not yet full in size. One item traded was his carving axe. At first he hesitated. Then he realized he had metal enough at home to make another and trading it hear would among his Reemi tribe would spread news of him being a smith. At first he stumbled badly with the sheep delaying putting a leash on making it a chase to assure himself of the beast. Novrus laughed. He was the smith of the north not the great herder of the north!

On his way back north he followed a road to other villages. One of these was Hyhky’s Passage. The enjoyed hearing what he had time for his adventurers since being here last spring. Novrus was impressed by the iron spectacle helm they had in their storehouse. The first thing they asked for in trade was Bear-Biter and this companion he would not part with. Now they haggled. Novrus agreed to turn over two broad knives taken in battle, the smaller Red foe iron helm and their curiosity asked for the lynx fur mask. Novrus parted with the simple helm as he would not need it now. As for the lynx mask he could make something similar and it humored them both to see the children pretending to be a lynx with it.

At the other Hyhky’s Passage village, just a few hundred strides down a road, they had dogs, cows and a bull. Concerned for the safety of the sheep while he would be on longer trips he asked for a dog. For it they agreed to the broad knife Novrus had smithed, the small bronze brooch and a few arrows.

Named the animals thusly:
Hyker for the dog, for its place of origin and for hiking long treks;
Ryser for the small name, a joke on its new profession as stud;
Onely and Twoly for the ship, as a means to count them.

With evening setting Novrus, Hyrker, Ryser, Onely and Twoly would rest in the northern Hyhky’s Passage village.

<Novrus named starter herd>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 14, 2018, 12:06:21 AM
Once rested and gathered Novrus and his herd hurried north. So important did he feel speed was that he ignored a stag seen at a hundred strides.

Day 6 of the last week before the start of summer

Finally they arrived at the homestead. The herd and Hyrker were put into the herd pen. The meats drying and smoking were thankfully found in good order. A few birds were alive in the traps. To keep the herd watered he crafted a new wooden tub.

The next day chores found elk tracks on the frozen lake just off the homestead’s beach. They lead to a stag stuck in the closest pit trap. The processing would take more than a day to complete. More spruce was spread around the herd pen so they would have more separation from the snow. Novrus felt he might have delay the new house by using its log to build a half barn for the herd.

As he went about several day of chores the presence of the herd pleased him. The bleating sheep broke the silence in an nonthreatening way. Their wool covered bodies were like happy balls of snow. Hyker was often circling them. He seemed to have accepted them as part of his extended family. That is good for dogs will defend their family. Ryser was doing his own chasing but not yet getting consent.

Novrus debated if he should have a left a tree for them to use as a play thing and shade. He should build them the half-barn soon. It was the start of Swidden month making this the time to plant long growing crops like broad beans, barley, rye and hemp. Some push for two crops of turnips but Novrus wanted to use the existing fields for the long growing list. New fields could be made this month or next and still get a crop of turnips. Being disappointed in the yield of peas he didn’t plan to plant them this year. He could also plant the few herb seeds and bulbs he had.

A new carving axe was also needed to replace the self made on sold in trading for the herd. He should make that before building the half barn. First though was to be the planting, which it turned out the ground was still to frosty for. The carving axe then.

The carving axe work kept being interrupted with Hyker barking angrily. Novrus wasn’t sure what it was about and tried to continue working. Hours of work would be lost if the metal was cooled now.

Then a wolf at a few dozen strides from the sheep came into view! Novrus decided to never ignore Hyker again! To protect them Novrus slept within the herd pen. No attacks came that night.

In the morning howls were heard and perhaps even movement among the spruce. Hyker was eager to get out of the pen. Novrus almost lost him out the door getting the leash on. They went to hunt this wolf. Surely there is a legend of a wolf, three sheep and their protectors. Novrus laughed for if not before there soon would be!

Wolf tracks abounded and quickly fresh. Novrus’s eye bulged out! Two wolves running free and a third in the glutton trap! More perhaps unseen around them! The sheep pen still in view! A day to win a battle song indeed!

<Novrus Hyker wolf legend>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 14, 2018, 02:32:49 AM
<Novrus Hyker wolf legend>

(During the first pass one of the wolves got a rear side “free” attack that ripped out his left eyeball… though he didn’t see the wolf doing it. Apparently it is more like 4 or 5 wolves not 3. So again if you want hard core rules he died. For those enjoying the story and of course my own benefit in writing we carry on)

(The next death saw only the trapped wolf slain. Novrus made a stand at the trees getting a bad shoulder wound. He got into the herd pen but never saw good bow shots. He got into the house to fight in the door but a wolf hurt him bad. That wolf he tricked inside and slammed the door. Wounded Novrus and Hyker were no match for the indoors wolf.)

(Dear Sami and Erkka,

Wolves are nasty.

Signed Brygun)

(Note: Bug detected.
Every time I force closed and reopened the game the wolves had more and more initial injuries. This included some of them being dead on game load. Admittedly force closing can do weird things. My zip save was used to restore the initial conditions without the extra injures. I did not think to save a set with overly wounded wolves for comparison.

Are you sure their bite damage is scaled properly? They seem worse than bear to fight even one on one.)

<Novrus deaths #2, 3 and 4>

Mists of possibilities swirled mind and air. To go forward to kill the trapped wolf wsa to invite the pack to attack. Backing to the trees might work. That is until a wolf might leap from behind, reach over your shoulder and tear your eye out.

Fighting to defensive posts seemed the best chance. Perhaps even getting a single wolf into the house. Yet the movement would leave opportunities to be bitten and bled by the pack.

So many ways to be taken down by a pack of wolves.

Novrus volleyed an arrow then made for the herd pen. Hyker blocked a wolf taken greats wounds for doing so. Novrus through his hand axe at the wolf, it missed, went to retrieve the axe and was charges. He got the axe and the wolf withdrew, as it glanced back it received the hand into its eye and brains.

That only left one in the trap, plus the raised count of two wolves and a small wolf running over the homestead.

In the pen Hyker squirmed from several serious bites. Novrus had leashed him to the fence for he had done all that he was likely to live through. Novrus to was bearing several wounds.

<Novrus got a wolf>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 14, 2018, 02:49:43 AM
Novrus advances cautiously. The neck bite hurt him the most. So easily it might have opened him to bleeding. The fur niska had taken the worst of it. Other tears and bites in his gut and shoulder.

An arrow at the trapped wolf aroused growls from the others. One came charging as Novrus readied a broad head for the wolf pinned in the glutton trap. The charging wolf is too close. The broad head is sent at it. Mid stride it dives through the skull and brains. The struck wolf’s chest plows the snow as it comes down with no life in its legs.

<Novrus shot 2nd wolf>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 14, 2018, 03:08:16 AM
Another wolf charges taking an arrow in a hind leg. With a whimper it moves away into cover.
It catches a glimpse of a wolf circling to the east. Cunning group fighters these. He looses an arrow as it closes with the shot catching snow. As the wolf closes Novrus growls punching the shield edge. Though no contact is made the wolf darts north.

Another dashing charge turns evasive wasting a pair of arrows. It disappears among the spruce.

Novrus advances on the trapped wolf. At a few strides only sending an arrow it into the elbow of a foreleg. It yelped then fell into slumber. Another wolf somewhere growled, likely another charge is coming.

Throwing the hand axe deters two more charges. Recover is swift for its held to short range. With this Novrus has his shield up to block or limit bites, like the next bite he receives.

The charging wolf is absent as blows are landed that finish the trapped wolf. Novrus moves the carcass off the trap hoping to reset it a new. That is when two wolves charge! One from the north and one from the east!

<Novrus double charge>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 14, 2018, 03:17:22 AM
Self forged broad knife is in hand from stabbing the neck of the trapped wolf. Being literally what is at hand Novrus throws it at the nearest wolf. Both turn to flee.

Two wolves may be much less bold than when they were what… five was it?

Novrus is willing to end the battle if they are. Three wolf corpses are huddled together in the courtyard. Hyker is anxiously yapping for he smells all the mixed blood in the air.


A heavy rain begins to fall. The smells floating are captured in the droplets.

Is this the forest spirit agreeing to the end of fighting. That the battle between settlement and wolf pack has been played out. That both have suffered and both yet live.

Please, let it be so.

(I am so not chasing down those wolves!)

<Novrus rain after wolves>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 14, 2018, 05:03:24 AM
Breathing restoring also meant the adrenaline was fading from hiding his pain. Hoping the peace was true Novrus went into the herd pen. Hyker was unleashed and Novrus washed his wounds with water from his water skin. The rain would be helping too.

Briefly Novrus considered bringing the herd and Hyker into the small house for safety. It would be such a disaster of broken pots, tipped over stacks and lost tools.

Stepping out the gate a wolf at the new house stock piles stared at him.

Novrus held his head down a moment.

Novrus relocated the gathered wolf carcasses to be placed near the remaining strong traps. If they were coming to be near their fallen kin this would bring the survivors to those ends. With at least one wolf skirting the herd pen sheep and Hyker Novrus withdrew himself into the sauna-smoker house. The entrance guard trap set, the door closed and himself watching out the window that looked toward the herd pen.

He hoped and prayed the house spirit would keep him safe while he dressed his wounds. He wondered if the forest spirit would dull the wolves senses of the large traps with their wolf-carcass lures.

Washing his neck wound stung. It had to be done though. Rain continued to tappity tap on the roof. Uncoiling a bandage he began to wrap it around when a growl proceeded wolf paws and eyes! A wolf on hind legs looked through the opened shutter back at him.

Panic took hold as Novrus snapped up bow and arrow. The arrow sailing past made Novrus take dread for fear of hitting the herd. It didn’t. The wolf though again bolted below the window and out of sight.

His mind thought of a battle trick. To lure the wolves to the two large lever traps and three-trunk bear trap he opened and stood in the smoker’s venting door. It was also the house’s rear door. One he placed just in case a fire took the front door.

Again he started to prepare a bandage knowing the wolf might come. It sure did! From the house’s blind side it leapt the fence. Its attempt at an aerial jaw clamp failing as Novrus’s fear inched him backwards into the table. With shield and axe wounded Novrus tried to fight. The unmarred wolf is fast to make snaps his right upper arm. Then it leapt over the fence away again. Novrus had to remember there were two wolves out there as well.

Novrus now stood at the smoker’s venting shutter. It faced east from the south east corner of the small building. Doors would have to be forced to approach him here. He waited for sings of a passing wolf. Ten minutes or twenty he didn’t know for sure when a loud thud and growl of pain signaled a wolf had been seduced into one of the traps!

It had tipped the three-trunk bear trap onto itself. The hips and leg angles looked quite wrong now. He tries a shot from the smoker’s west sided door but the arrow is taken up by the trees that shelter the rear of the building. Nervous Novrus hopes the rain hides the smell of fear coming from him.

Approaching the trunk trapped a wolf the Gruelfen chosen laminated bow drives an arrow into its skull. Its chest still rises in breathing. The blood flow marks it as soon to pass.

Growling hate calls from behind. Turning Novrus shuffles for the house door. Before then the other wolf is on him. His shield is not always able to stop its bite. As Novrus backs into the door flailing with hand axe and shield the wolf dashes away. Surely it will return.

With little strength left Novrus resets the door guard trap rather than attempt an axe throw a the wolf.

Pain swims though his mind. Is his grandfather walking past the herd pen? If only he could have told him of his successes yet surely his spirit knew. Overhead the birch-bark punt expressed a wondering if they would ever take to the lake again. An elf’s shadow peeked from the smoke of the fire.

He was not well.

Nearly half way into the spirit world now was Novrus.

“Grandfather,” said Novrus.

Spring flowers in full bloom skipped around the growing stands of rising crops. Grandfather had called the young men of the villages for weapon training.

“This is your shield. It keeps you alive,” said Grandfather, “This is your spear. It is your fang. With warriors on either side one holding shield and spear is like a fortress.”

“Like a fortress,” Novrus repeated.

His mind drifted back to the senses of the unreal world. He backed up to the sleeping bunk. When he had built this place it was here he figured he was a fortress. From where it stood un-summoned for months against the wall Novrus took up his spear. In spring time he had carried it from home. Before that he had trained under his Grandfather for the shield wall.

He climbed onto the sleeping bunk. Pressing into a corner he got small behind the shield. Spear leveled to the short but forced approach. Either side a wall or the fireplace. As he had thought when this was built here he was a fortress. A fortress under siege. He had prepared for this.

Outside the wolf could dance its way into the other traps.

After a few moments he laid the shield and spear in alignment for quick arming. Now he dressed the bandage around his neck wound. Outside he heard something running.  Hyker had not barked an alarm nor the sheep bleated. With hope they were alive in the pen with Hyker enough to give the wolf pause.

Then cleaning dressing the fresh hip wound he ventured a look to the herd pen. Hyker was on the spruce beds looking back at the house. Ryser was strutting in defiance while Onely and Twoly kept shifting nervously. They were all alive. The wolf was still near. Novrus withdrew to treat other wounds.

During that the last wolf growled at the heard. Novrus banged shield and spear together as when shield walls sought to threaten each other.

As the wolf made away again Novrus gathered all the arrows left in stores. Blunts, unbalanced, broad heads or what so long as they could be shot.  Right in this moment he missed having the half-hundred sheath of arrows he had gone south with as trade goods. He moved to the middle not the sleeping bunk to have a different window angle. The wolf came by circling the herd pen, Novrus fired but there was no connection.

Minutes later the wolf past close to the window. An arrow went to its hind leg for all the trouble it had caused.

Novrus came out to try for shots and to gather arrows. The last wolf wasn’t moving well but still was coming for its pack mates. Novrus put arrows and neck stabs to the three-trunk trapped wolf while getting another arrow into the moving wolf.

Novrus withdrew to fortress mode. The three-trunk trapped wolf had expired at last. The other moving wolf was not seen as he cleaned the rest of his wounds.

Now things needed to be done carefully. That meant bringing Hyker out with him. The dog’s senses would give them warning. Tracks of the wolves were everywhere. Novrus quickly let go the idea of pursuing the wolf. Instead he reset and rebaited the large traps.

So exhausted, bled and drained was Novrus that when returning Hyker to the herd pen that Twoly bolted out the door. This with a wolf loose in the woods!

“Bashed berries!” cried Novrus.

It took a few minutes to ski enough for Twoly to be leashed and more to be returned.

Novrus hoped the wolf matter was over. He hoped to awake after sleeping with his bandaged and unbandaged wounds.

<Novrus post wolf pack sleep>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 14, 2018, 05:46:01 PM
He woke up.

He felt glad to know pain.

He had gone to the spirit world that night.

Pain tingles and stabs in many places. It only hurt to breath, eat, drink, use his right arm or his left leg.

“Why only half bad!” laughed Novrus.

He checked his laughter as it added to the pain. Managing a short move he looked out the north window as he ate and drank. All the herd and Hyker were alive as well.

Now for a painful day of skinning and tanning hides. The four wolves taken felt like it had happened in a dream. Perhaps it was just the pain fogging his mind. Didn’t one bite his eye out? Didn’t he get throated? Hadn’t another death found him? Yet he lived.

Grandfather had been seen. Reminding him of how to fight had indeed been a boon.

One wounded wolf was still out there. Had its blood lust gone? Had it had enough of avenging its pack mates? Novrus wasn’t going to hunt it. He was glad enough to be in pain and that meant alive.

His homestead stocks good easily sustain him a few days without adventurers. He debated hurrying to Flower Wild for the care of their healers. They were such a generous people. Time and time again they had cared for those wounded in the woods. Novrus was glad to have such neighbors. He felt a duty to the too.

To travel to them now though was a great risk. Seriously wounded and a wounded wolf in the nearby woods. No he would not travel. Although if the wounds became infected that would be a different matter.

Chores would have to be struggled through like finishing the tanning on the elk fur. The wolves were skinned but due to the delay from the battle the meat was already gone off.

Novrus thought to convert the light bird traps to the heavier traps that had been effective on the wolves. It was while building one of these the crippled wolf waddled out from under the spruce branches that had been hiding it.

<Novrus Wolf 5 is back>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 15, 2018, 04:09:33 AM
Novrus made ready for a fight though he had to restrain himself from the fatigue weighing on him. That is when he spotted a sixth wolf. It wsa in fact one of the what he thought was the first four as it was stuck in the glutton trap with one of arrows already in it.

Using a cluster of trees to guard his back Novrus stepped forward, struck the trapped wolf then stepped back into the guarded position. This way he was minimizing the chance of the mobile wolf pouncing on him. Once it was slain he carried by the pens when Hyker began his alarm barks. Novrus would not ignore it this time!

The three-trunk trapped that had been reset was collapsed again. It pinned the wolf wounded by two arrows. Dispatching it Novrus truly hoped with was the last of the wolves. It was a hope not possible to affirm as he would not go seeking any remaining wolves. All told the six wolf siege had gone on roughly three days.

Getting back to chores involved hide work, smoking meats, building wolf traps and bandaging wounds. On a latter day the homestead was caught up so he went to patrol the trap pits. One had a small elk, both a boon and a chore.

Another pit trap was collapsed. Looking down inside a rotting wolf corpse lay there. So it had been seven wolves. This corpse is burned in the ceremonial grove with wood and spruce for a smoky fire. After the traps were all checked and rebaited Novrus nearing the end of healing made for Flower Wild.

He was given many greetings. He had brought over a hundred pounds of fresh elk for them to cook as they chose. A third he gave freely to various persons such as the shaman who placed poultices on his wounds. The rest of the elk meat brought was used to trade for arrows. This would spare him one chore in recovering from the wolf siege.

Finally getting through the hidework chores Norvus forged the carving axe head. Its shape and edge seemed proper. The hafting though didn’t come out with the right balance nor control. He decided to rehaft the axehead. For that he would need new birch. At least the current carving axe mounting could assist in shaping the new handles.

At least with his wounds being shallow, though numerous, he was almost fully recovered. The scarring was light. The sorts a lover would ask about when cuddling close. It took until noon the next day for the third re-hafting to come out with the right balance and flow.

<Novrus new carving axe 2>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 15, 2018, 04:55:32 AM
Upon finishing the carving axe Novrus decided to take the rest of the day off for fun. He leashed Hyker to come with him out of the pen. They could go ice fishing and short walks.

Hyker was still limping from a hind leg wolf bite. Novrus fed him extra meat from his own pack before brushing his wounds with clean snow and washing with water.

Hyker nipped back at first as the touches from the still new master stung. Hyker settled down once he realized it was a caring touch. Novrus tied on a bandage about the leg for support. Hyker didn’t seem to like the restriction. Novrus kept coaxing the muzzle away from pulling off the bandage.

“Easy Hyker. This is just for a short time. You want to go for a walk out of the pan don’t you?”

Novrus realized he hadn’t taken Hyker out of the homsestead’s immediate area yet. When they had gotten here there were over due chores then the miserable wolf siege then new chores and the new axe. They would go at a slow pace for the sake of Hyker’s wound and for orientation.

They visited the nearest pit trap. Hyker sniffed all over the old tracks of the wolf pack. Apparently they had rested here before encountering the homestead.

Next was an honor tree with a bear skull mounted in it. Novrus left a bear meat cut on a low branch. Hyker tried to eat it but Novrus pulled back on the leash. As they went on Hyker kept looking back as if to ask why we were leaving good food behind.

The slept over night at the field shelter. In the morning Novrus setup a big dead fall trap of the size to pin a wolf. A freshly caught grouse would give meat for the bait. They then went on checking the other pit traps to discover the far west-north-west had caught a reindeer. After the butchering Novrus put a whole leg of the reindeer and extra bones in the herd pen for Hyker to enjoy. The extra diet would do the dog well for its wound recovery.

<Novrus had fun 1>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 16, 2018, 04:12:59 AM

Day 2 of the 11th week to midsummer point

The snows are now too thin to ski on. Soon the lake ice will be too dangerous for ice fishing. It would be a bit of time after that before the canoe can be taken out of the high rafters and go back in the water.

The main chores now are to work up the half barn for the animals then expand the fence to match. With the ground not thawed its not ideal for construction but this is the barn not the ‘manor’ house. The concern is the health of the animals.

The sheep with their wool are holding up well. Hyker’s limp is gone but the wound under the bandage is still significant. Novrus had taken Hyker out with him during a spell of ice fishing. The dog is proving a good companion for human and sheep alike.

After that will be planting seeds followed by making more ash-turned patches. During winter visits Novrus had picked out two good spots for new gardens. Firewood was starting to be collected there for the burns.

The next morning Novrus felt a difference in the air. Looking out the window the white was no longer consistent. Browns and greens of plants showed in patches among pockets of white. The overnight rain had melted the snows. Creeks, rivers and lakes would gain in height. Novrus hoped his home was far enough from the shore and these seemed likely. Definitely ice fishing was out.

He removed some of his layers of furs and armors. Sweat would come easily enough with the chores to be done.

Day 6 of the 11th week to midsummer point

Novrus grinned into a wide smile as the first sheep scouted out the half-barn. It had L shape log walls to block half the wind and baffle the other side. The floor and roof where narrow but this could be extended later. Novrus had decided the straight walls should have shutters. This would let him look in on the animals and allow air flow when wanted.

He coughed in a laugh. Now if only he had remembered that the sun was to the south which this half barn opened too. If had built it the other way they would have shade in the summer. Though perhaps this wasn’t all bad as this way winter winds were interrupted while they could still sit in the sun’s warmth.

<Novrus half barn stage 1>

(Kudos to Privateer who once asked if others thought of building a half barn. Its a good idea.)
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 17, 2018, 03:50:17 AM
It was a happy afternoon seeding all the main field patches. One of the two by the homestead was planted as well. Rye, barley, broad beans and hemp all with no fear of an earlier winter wiping the out. The other patch by the homestead was being saved for sorrel for which it was too early to plant. His field making chores now was to turn over two patches for turnips and perhaps a bit more sorrel. He felt a proud joy in his work. He recalled the strain, fatigue, exhaustion and starvation of last year. This year it was just a stroll to seed those same fields. He couldn’t help but hum a familiar tune.

Peaceful days past expanding the fields. His self forged metal bladed shovel was much better at cutting the turf. The wooden shovel might get stopped by clumps of roots but the metal one was quickly through.

It went so well Novrus added barley and hemp into the new fields. A section of turnips was planted but it was still too soon to plant sorrel.

 Hyker’s wounds healed though he always kept a little off the once-wolf-savaged leg. Working alone in the fields Novrus felt the sheep herd was safe with Hyker. At times he took Hyker out with him like when doing maintenance on the trap pits.

With the previous fields planted and two new ones awaiting sorrel season it was time to think of other things. Such is the investment that agriculture brings.

<Novrus thinking in 2nd spring>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 17, 2018, 04:38:34 AM

Day 2 of the 9th week to midsummer

Roughly a month had gone since the spring equinox. Novrus was preparing so search for ore. Perhaps he had been too hasty about the cliff to the south. Is not a cliff a broken mountain? He would search the bogs there.

 He would be gone for perhaps a week relying on Hyker and the wolf scaled traps around the pen. 

Rains would add to the tubs, one a proper plank made tub the other one of his earlier hollowed out stumps. These he shifted near the half barn where the roof’s run off would add to them being rain catchers. He drove stakes in around them as a precaution from the animals tipping them over.

Meats for Hyker were laid out in the pen for Hyker including a fresh capercaille bird catch. Fresh spruce and hay from last winter’s threshing were put out for the sheep.

For himself Novrus cut the elk leather to make a summer cuirass. The Red foe’s lamellar cuirass was in horrible shape from the wolf siege. Later he might use it as a guideline for making a fresh one. He was wearing the spectacle helm bought to the south, a mail coif and a fur cap for padding. He wore clothes and furs though not the extra winter layers.

A sacrifice to the spirits was made for the safety of the home stead.

With his metal bladed shovel he planned to march off through the muddy spring in search of ore.

<Novrus Ready to seek ore>

Ran out of time to test the new "cliff" ore code today.

Also if anyone knows about the "lake ore" from Bouidda please pass on information in a modding question threat at:

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 17, 2018, 06:39:42 PM
Rains poured down. Streaks of rivelets flowing along leathers like the cuirass and boots while dampness mad the furs heavier. Searching for the cliff sighted almost a year ago was proving problematic. It is no small wonder he found another lost soul.

He gave his name as Neko. Novrus felt that this fellow may have also fallen into disfavor with wood spirit. Though it is also true men can get lost on their own. Flower Wild would certainly welcome Neko but a village south is closer.

On their journey they found a reindeer herd. As evasive as ever they did manage to corner on the mire one of the younglings. An adult doe Novrus caught in a leg but she escaped with the others. The calf’s meat they roasted and split between them. Neko would no have something to barter with in the village.

Pettru’s rapids was where they came to. Neko embraced Novrus in a brotherly hug.

“Thank you, my curse is lifted,” said Neko, “I was better fisherman when I was younger. Let me tell you a few of my tricks.”

Neko coached Novrus on fishing. Things like which fish liked to swim at what depths. This to meant what bait to use at what spacing between hook and float.

Novrus traded most of his share of roasted reindeer for arrows, a few more than he had just lost on the mire. He still had the skin but they didn’t want it until it had been tanned.

Going northward Novrus remembered the cliff was by the water. The slush season may well mean he can’t cross necessary rivers to get to it. He walked a little wider when he spotted an inland cliff new to him.

Climbing up he had a good look. The cliff’s rocks did indeed carry rust red rocks. There were bands of color showing those with more and those with less iron. Rain action would carry traces of the iron to the mire below.

Searching the mire it wasn’t long before a slick of rainbow color was spotted. Below that would and indeed was a lump of bog ore. AT last the smith of the north had a source of iron.

Novrus slept at this inland cliff. The next morning he made a decent shelter and a pair of guard traps which he disarmed until he would come back. Wishing to respect the reindeer hide he decided to make for home but only after gathering several bog ores.

Again he varied his path. This time he did find the cliff he had first sought. On a river bank indeed yet on the same land masses as the homestead. It was much closer to the homestead than he thought. His outward search hadn’t started until well past it. He made sure to mark it in his memory this time.

Returning home he changed the water for the animals, finished tanning the reindeer calf’s hide and slept in his warm sauna-smoker house.

A merry stroll for the trap pits then happily off to get more ore…

When a wild red foe appeared.

<Novrus red foe in woods>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 17, 2018, 07:26:22 PM
Scowling the red foe held a mace up high. He swore curses as Novrus readied his round shield in pair with Bear-Biter.

Courage was quickly weighed. Red foe ran! Novrus chased but couldn’t gain on him. The running trail vanished in the woods. Perhaps the Red Foe had called on his own spirits to help him. Perhaps he had taken to traveling like a squirrel jumping form tree to tree.

Novrus didn’t attempt pursuit. Rather he went about the chore of bringing in ore chunks. The two cliff sites were both visited. The bits of ore were slowly gathering. Sometimes he slept near a cliff other times at home.

On a trip back Novrus sighted a red foe. He guessed it might be the mace wielder. Novrus closed in. This one was a chieftain in metal armor! Novrus certainly guessed wrong!

Had the mace wielder escaped to direct this chief on a hunt?

<Novrus Red foe 2nd chief>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 18, 2018, 07:33:55 PM

Curses and roars are exchanged. The red foe chief in his iron helm and lamellar armor contesting with Novrus in a spectacle helm and leather cuirass. Neither will yield nor flee.

Novrus tosses the spear he had readied for the mace wielder. Red chief dashes to the side making for trees. Novrus bolts at a hard run for his spear. The Red chief emerges expecting to have closed on Novrus. Instead Red chief must charge anew.

Novrus hurls the spear a second time. This time it digs into the left knee of the Red chief. He stumbles, tripping on the spear that still protrudes form his knee.

Novrus heaves up a large stone near his feet. As the two close Red chief gets the spear free. Before he can throw Novrus bounces the near twenty pound stone off the Red chief’s chest.

As they close Novrus takes out his smith’s hammer. Its percussive form should make that metal armor sing. The blows exchange with the hammer hooking away the spear. Red chief draws his scimitar. In a twirl of motion it is now the hammer that spins out of the hand.

Shield and scimitar hook and pull. Red chief gets up on his good knee as both slip from grips. Novrus twirls out Bear-Biter giving a cut on Red chief’s right hand.

Arcing round Novrus brings Bear-Biter backwards to blunt bash the Nerjpez. He seems aware of his plight now. Blood staining his lips the Red chief tries to drag his away. Novrus won’t allow it.

Blades cross with Bear-Biter now being grounded. As Novrus recovers it a cut is made across his left hip. Now it is Novrus who backs away.

Backs away to switch to the Gruelfen chosen laminated bow. A broadhead arrow darts out into Red chief’s abdomen. He clutches the penetrated cut for a moment before passing out. Taking out his self made broad-knife Novrus kneels down to open the Red chief’s neck.

Novrus must sleep nearby to have time to do proper funeral rites. Two trees, the body on top those with spruce covering all and to make smoke.

That done Novrus returns to find elk fresh tracks right by the door of the sauna-smoker! He gathers Hyker for a chase hunt. Yet the dog won’t be needed the the elk blundered into the three-trunk bear trap.

It took into the next day to process the elk. Now the sorrel, flavoring plant, was planted in the remaining turned over soils.

Day 5 of the 8th week to midsummer point, Late Seedtime

Novrus set the stacks of collected ore billets to roast. The fire being the first step in drying and purging the ore toward iron.

He still had half of the charcoal from the early winter burns. That precious commodity was of great value in later steps. Purged of moisture and interfering compounds at a loss of more fuel what remained gave a purified denser burn. In the small place around the ore and metal that denser burn meant a higher heat. It is high heats that work iron, not the cool heat of a campfire or woodstack burn. Bellows drove the heat even higher for greater purity from ore and smoother workmanship of the refined iron.

He decides while the ore roast is going to spend an day or two adding another crop patch. The patch was only partly developed but as this was a time without rushed panic that would do. Sorrel and turnips were bound for this spot.

The elk’s hide came out poorly. So for now Novrus carried at as a form of rain cover. Simply draped over himself to shed the spring rains. Else he would lay it down as a mobile sleeping mat. Later he decided just to leave it in the smithy as that sleeping mat.

A sleeping mat to be put to much use. A week of blooming the roasted iron ore now awaited. The bloomery’s nearly tight air tight space trapping heat. That heat from a cluster of charcoal. Bellows pumped to power the burning. A heat so hot the ore would glow. A benefit to a half-house smithy is it let escaped heat float away while keeping the rain off. The sleeping fur made it much more comfortable to lay down between hot exhausting sessions.

Watching the water flow off the smithy’s roof Novrus realized only the sauna-smoker roof had a rain barrel catching water. Both the half-barn and half-smithy could also catch water. Certainly the herd, small as it was, was increasing the water needs. The smithy going into a burst production also needed regular water. Both were drawing form the existing rain barrel and the lake. It would be a worthy endeavors to outfit the half buildings with their own barrel. Before making the half-barn’s barrel he should extend the roof as that is where the gutters hang. Furthermore, the roof area  determines how much rain per rainfall is caught.

(Note: game wise the bloomery is outside otherwise you would be setting the smithy on fire)

<Norvus spring 2 barrel thoughts>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 21, 2018, 08:20:16 AM
The pause in journal writing is temporary.

1) I took on a real life quest to restore old computers to give to low income families at my drop in to have their own home computers. I managed to restore seven (7) with one already taken home in time for christmas. The others will be picked up as people come in probably post christmas

2) I got inspired to work on my/our mod especially with a complicated massive water craft overall

3) other mod work related to a new path to make the rain catcher barrel for the half-barn to RP having more water for the sheep

Novrus's trek will resume soon....
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 28, 2018, 11:28:16 PM
Novrus set about making caulking by mixing pitch glue with finely drawn plant material. This in turn was used to seal well fitted boards to make a barrel. Cords tied around were tightened with a tourniquet style knot and stick. Twisted tight this held the upright staves close while the caulking cooled.

To make this rain catcher he set the barrel by the corner of the half-barn. Slender tree trunks were split then hollowed to make cutters. A knife made peg holes into the half-barn. These pegs in turn fitted into the gutters. Water would flow down the roof, hit a gutter and flow to pour out into the barrel.

With this second roof area catching water Novrus was confident his water supply would keep up with the increased demand.

<Novrus spring 2 made barrel>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 29, 2018, 06:00:22 AM

Day 3 of the 6th day to midsummer

With the extended water supply Novrus found it much easier to restock water for the animals. Later he might make some casks to put out as water but the existing containers held a few days, plus whatever the got from rain into the open topped containers. It had been a few days since he checked on the traps so it was time to go again.

The distant trap held an elk. This meant a great take of food, hide and likely trade as he had great stocks of his own already. Novrus still felt he should smoke around forty pounds just be sure for himself. The rest he cooked to prepare for traveling. During the cooking he noticed a strange  odour. Novrus sniffed it out as berries from last fall having gone rotten inside their containers. Those were dumped then the pot and amphora washed. It was also time to bring down his birch-bark punt from the rafters.

The other pit traps were checked as was the fields. Then he took his punt southward to trade the elk meat and get news. Taking a more westward path for paddling and portage he regretted not having his dip net. These new lakes could well have ores. In fact he was sure he had seen the right colored stones more than once.

To simplify the journey at night he trimmed up four shafts of wood. These the stuck into the ground as a pair of X. Notches in each caught on the similar notch of the other. Onto these he braced one end of the punt. The punt itself forming the roof of this quick lean to. After all if the punt can keep a lake out it can also keep off rain!

The next morning he arrived at Spruce Passage stead. There the maiden Elina accepted 90 cuts of the elk for linen trousers. She had made them over the winter for trade or a kinfolk. Trade had shown up first.

Inside a Kota Novrus took off the nettle trousers he had left home with. They had patches and battle cuts in them. The linen trousers felt much smoother. A collection of arrows completed the trading of the elk meat so Novrus set off back to the homestead.

<Novrus got linen trousers>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on December 31, 2018, 03:19:55 AM
Returning home was a quick and uneventful trip. Storing his old pants and the new arrows he set about chores. The mound of branches that came through the winter were bundled using a few branches as wrappers. Spruce mats were woven for the sauna-steamer house and for the half-barn. Two logs were prepared for the main house. Smoked elk was found to be done and stored in the cellar. These routine days were the success won by hard work last year establishing the settlement.

Novrus had used all the pitch glue he had to make caulking and ended up needing it all. His next short adventure was to make more. This time he gathered pine tar, melted it over a buried pot, mixed in a bit of charcoal for a binder and got a decent pitch glue.

Then he set about shaping a pair of elk antlers to fit together to become a horn. It took hours of whittling to get a good fit. The glue was squeezed in the seams as the two were finally fitted together. A cord was turned around the front and back with the length in between becoming the carrying the strap.

Finally giving it a blow the horn made a sound. Not quite the sound of the old village horns. He could fluctuate it a little with his own sounds. The carry through of the horn wasn’t quite tuned. At least it meant his horn had a unique sound. Henceforth he would train the dogs to come to its call.

<Novrus made horn>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on January 05, 2019, 06:02:30 PM
Feeling proud about his home Novrus made two benches and a table for outdoors. He could put them where needed for tasks underway. Normally the benches would be on the south side of the sauna shelter where before he had rolled a felled tree. The table for now would be by the sauna-smoker’s rain catching barrel. He used that water a lot for preserving hides so the work surface would be handy even if just to set things on.

He set another bench at his favorite lakeside fishing spot. Of course what was really needed was to build the main house but that was a long way from completion.

<Norvus made outdoor furniture>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on August 29, 2019, 04:28:18 AM

Continuing on. Updating to BAC v059 at this point as well with its numerous price corrections.

Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on August 29, 2019, 05:22:32 PM
<Novrus to BAC v059>

Day 3 of the 5th week to midsummer, Fallow Month

Many thoughts had gone through Novrus’s mind. There are many possible things for the years ahead. The stead was started with much more to do.

A fuzzy memory of dreams reminded him that no home was complete without salt. Salt to preserve food was common though it had uses in taste. With it being fallow month was it time to travel or wait?

A tour of the building revealing the simply first year design. Three broad double strides of hallway on the north and the same on the south. Small means easy to heat.

The north held the bunk under which was stacked various trophies. On top was furs for warmth above, below and for a pillow. Clothes and weapons hung on pegs. There was a cooking space with the cooking pot and ready stores of flour and spices. By the space of the door stuck in the rafters is his skiing equipment. In time these would be moved to the main house to use this as a separate sauna.

On the south hall there was the stores of meats smoking, sealed pots of flour and a great stack of raw materials. Materials include wood for the double facing fireplace plus various bits of leather, cut outs from clothing and such things.

Outside the pen with its half barn gave a safe grazing space to two sheep, the little ram and his dog Hyker. If he was to go far to get salt he might leave Hyker here to guard the sheep. Should he leave him outside the pen or inside?

He has his half-house style smithy with its open venting to let out the great deal of heat that is made. Decently stocked with tools though one can always use more iron, steel and charcoal.

Logs outlined the start of where the main house would go.

Nearby the cellar in the original sheltering nook held a great quantity of foods.

In the ritual clearing he burns leaves to give thanks. Blowing on his elk horn to commune with the spirits.

By the lake he checks on his birch-bark punt. Its not as grand or sturdy as one of wood planks yet it could make a great journey, as it has before. Elk hair was soaking dehairing with a week or so to finish processing it.

Perhaps he would stay until the elk hide is finished.

Touring his fields to the north the stalks were starting to rise.

Coming home found him realizing there was iron blooms that could be worked on. Something to do while awaiting the elk hide preparation.

 Before starting another though came to mind. The fence lines with their pit traps were still set. Catching more game when he had such surpluses was unnecessary. Processing more animals would delay his salt trip even longer. Thus he went to trigger the traps to no longer be likely to catch game. To have such a surplus as to do that brought a smile to his lips.

With all those checked and in order he set about working. Many hours over several days pounding the blooms into usable iron billets.

Day 5 of the week 5th week to midsummer

Working the blooms into iron billets is complete. A tiring series of days. On an afternoon stroll a Nerjpez is spotted in the distance to the south east.

<Novrus Nerj 2019-08-29>

Deciding to scout or engage the lone red cap Novrus heads to the stead. There he gathers Hyker, feeds Hyker and puts on a lamellar hauberk. A check of weapons and gear finds him very well equipped for a fight. Four washed bandages will be handy in case of the very likely wounds.

The search finds traders! The red cap appears to be stalking them!

Novrus warns them. The one he speaks to has a broadsword and mace to trade but no salt. Well one can check. Its safer to rest together. Rain wakes him to resume the patrol.

The red cap had gone off to the east trapped by the lake shoreline there. Peering from behind trees this is a warrior with an axe, shield and a beefy knife. Though clothed he lacks metal armor. Novrus definitely has an advantage in equipment.

Hyker is tugging for his meal. The commotion of feeding alerts the red cap. Two arrows in close quarters, the rush of adrenaline in close fighting and then the red cap is running. Unleashing Hyker it is Hyker who finishes the red cap. The man was lightly wounded at best. Seems Hyker took his giblets off. It was all so calmly fought. Niether Novrus nor Hyker received any wounds.

A nearby fallen tree is set up for a burning pyre. It won’t be enough to destroy the whole body. The great smoke will hopefully speed the spirit of the slain on his journey.

On return Novrus looks over the belongings. The extra woodsman axe can go among the trade goods. The roundshield is a nice spare to have in the house. The clothes have tears and wear so into the resource pile they go.

Was he here on a quest? Searching for other lost red cap? Separated from other bands? A story that remains unknown. It does seem to Novrus that traveling as much as he could among the rivers northward perhaps they are just doing that too. Then naturally they would stumble near his stead from time to time even if it is well hidden.

<Novrus thinks of traffic>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on August 30, 2019, 06:26:30 AM
With days to go its time for wood crafts. A rain barrel water catcher for the half-barn.

Day 2 of the 4th week to Midsummer

The half barn already has a water barrel so its to the smithy the next will go. Changes to the structure will be needed to divert the gutters on the walls just right. A barrel is placed at the edge of the smithy. Rain pleasantly falls on his face. That makes three rain collectors when you add in the one on the sauna.

Day 6 of the 4th week to Midsummer

Preparations are complete. Chores are in order. Trade goods are gathered.

<Novrus prep for trip2>

Its several days along the rivers. A new shelter here and reusing another. Then came the great lake. A mouth wider than he could see across.

The rivers flowed south east into it. Paddling that direction saw no land into the night. A shaky night on the canoe. Nervousness mixes with moisture on his face.

Turning east he finds a rocky coast knowing that his is Nerjpez lands. The red caps live here. War isn’t his goal. Off a peninsula on a outcrop of rock on the river he assembles a shelter. Desperately needed is a good sleep. It may prove useful on raids in later years.

Sailing off westward takes a full day of paddling to reach the opposite shore. Novrus has been here before. Steering to a remembered community he visits the Reemi of Whirlbottom.

There are good trades there and at a stead nearby to lighten the load. Whirlbottom is having trouble with a bird thief but to learn the magic Id have to bring in a bird. Novrus hadn’t planned on setting camp here that long. He is going for salt from the Islanders if need be.

Day 2 of the 2nd week to Midsummer

Quiet though tiring great paddling in the birch-bark punt. Several nights using the punt as a shelter propped up on stakes. Enough to keep the rain off at least. Finally an Islander settlement is seen!

There isn’t any spare salt here though they point to north east and the land of the Driik. Paddling then landing at a mountain the vantage points reveal a Driik community nearby. The “Pineclimb” are reached before night fall. No salt today though they have dogs, cows and a bull for sale.

There is a dual village though, which they use the same name for. Here they do have a bag of salt! More than enough goods are on hand to trade without even using any of the bronze pieces.

<Novrus got salt>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on August 31, 2019, 01:59:48 AM

There is a truly excellent smith here, Soini. Even among the Reemi of his home region Novrus had heard of him.

Novrus eyes widen in admiration. A magnificent battleaxe with ripples in the steel that appear as waves with one ripple appearing to be more like a horse’s head with an eye and nostril, “Sea Stallion”. The balance is superb making it swift and deadly. A carving axe of matching quality keeps a superb edge. Its an investment for the finer wood work that would come from using it. Jealousy bubbles in Novrus that his skills are far from producing at this level. Yet that subsides as he is still quite young. This is inspiration.

Novrus decides to trade for them. As Smith of the north he can give his own “Bear Biter” battleaxe to a companion or local hero. He takes off his lamellar shin guards as a good part of the payment. Those he knows he can replace. More trading of extra knives, tools and bits of bronze finish the trade for “Sea Stallion” and the cunning carving axe.

<Novrus got Sea Stallion>

Proud of the axes its time to consider the animals. The cow and bulls are full of meat and can haul. The female dog though would be a companion for Hyker. Its the dog he choses. Pondering the name Novrus settles on “Pinecone” to honor the memory of the towns of “Pineclimb” so far from his stead.

The debate now is to retrace his steps going east along the south coast or make this a grand sailing, to go west then north and then east circling country’s whole coastline. Much food was traded away though there might be enough for him and Pineclimb. Well a bit of hunting or fishing might extend their supply. Novrus takes a deep breath. He pats Sea Stallion the battleaxe and Pineclimb the she-dog. It would honor them and call on their spirits to make the great trip. Another deep breath courage then the great round journey begins.

Day 5 of the 2nd week before midsummer

On the journey clumps of mountains make an island draining into mires then to the sea. This is perhaps an ideal place for a smith. Its called “Ahti’s cliff”. Novrus has his stead far to the east near the end of the rivers. Scouting the largish island finds a small lake within it as well!

Novrus decides to make a lean to here for future trips or travelers. Best to put it at the lake. Scouting with Pinecone she tugs the leash sniffing the air. A glutton (wolverine) waddles into view!

<Novrus iron wolverine>

Before he can get a good aim the wolverine has slipped away. Perhaps it was a spirit greeting him. It didn’t attack so was it friendly? An offering is made once a lean to is set near the inner lake.

Day 1 of the last week before midsummer

Sailing on finds the Seal-tribe village of Lakerear. A wood storehouse and a large kota. A few people living in their way.

Day 2 of the 13th week before winter season

The east ward paddling is complete. A few more seal tribe villages were visited or seen. Now comes a portage southward to reconnect to the home stead.

At noon he arrives in the northern hunting cave of Shitty point. His door to the hidden side cave is still closed. Things inside as he left them. This includes the reserves of food.

Continuing the next day a Nerj is seen.

<Novrus nerj se from hunt>

No contact is made and the trail not found. Seems this one knew to hide. South is the friendly village of “Wolf’s tip”. Warning them they mention old man Birki wishes to talk.

Birki starts to explain of the water folk. To meet them stand naked on a lone rock at night. One completely surrounded by water. They may gather at midnight. Do nothing but look at them. Good clothing means they are happy while a dour look means they are upset. Sacrifices to them may help their mood.

Traveling to south a night on the mire followed by a visit to the village of Gruelfen. With much debate the battle axe “Bear Biter” is traded for a big reindeer doe. This also being an investment. She is big enough to help haul in more ore and of course fight off a predator that might have a go at the sheep. She is named “Ivy”. Thinking back on the cows and bull of the Driik out here in these forests and mires the reindeer will tough it out much better.

Bear Biter is now theirs. The battle axe he made and christened in many battles. To be the Smith of the North getting them such things is the point and Novrus has “Sea Stallion”.

The punt is tied on Ivy greatly reducing the burden on Novru’s back for the portage of another day to come. Easier going now on the mires homeward with a night at a shelter left for such a purpose from the earlier travels.

Day 5 of the 13th to winter

Rambling on with punt upon the doe Ivy and nippy Pinecone is a happiness from companionship. An unwanted companion in the woods! A Nerjpez warrior is there a few yards ahead!

<Novrus 5 to 13 win>

A few quiet steps yes. Ivy and Pinecone seem to know the matter. They move quiet as well. Arrow to bow. The warrior takes a few steps crossing a trail. The arrow flies, resounding with flesh and bone of his chest! The warrior groans falling to the ground grasping in pain.

Moving up to finish! The warrior rises readying a spear. There is but a few yards between them.

Novrus notches an arrow let loose with quivering fingers in adrenaline. The arrow goes wide. The warrior curses with eyes startled, pained and confused by the sight of a Reemi warrior with both dog and doe.

The calm of destiny comes over Novrus. The next arrow goes into the warrior’s hip. Notching an arrow the man advances catching Pinecone with the spear. Dog and red cap stab, bite and dodge with each other. Each movement a tug on the belt secured leash as well.

The tugging leashes and tight of the woods make archery difficult to arrange. Its time for Sea Stallion! A twirl downward skips off the shoulder. Novrus flares nostrils feeling the strength of ancestors and spirits fill him.

Dread over comes the red cap. He starts to flee. Sea Stallion catches him on the legs once and twice. He drops to the ground. There Soini’s forge skill as a legendary smith glimmers light off the edge of Sea Stallion splitting head from torso.

Novrus feels his body come back to normal. There is a funeral rite to do. Spruce twigs are chosen for a fire, too small to really pyre the corpse but that is not always practical. An offering to the spirits as well. To gentle the woods and lead the Red Cap on to his ancestors.

The wounds on Pinecone aren’t fatal though a good cleaning is in order. What can be done here is done. At the homestead she’ll have time with Hyker, the sheep and Ivy.
The trip home continues safe enough. Hyker takes well to Pinecone. As the punt is packed off from Ivy’s back Hyker is licking at Pinecone’s wounds.

As to Novrus the life in these ages is full of chores. The grand journey has taken up the rest of Fallow Month. It is now Hay Month. The turnips are ready for harvest.

Day 7 of the 13th week before winter

Sheep shearing day! First time for Novrus. Messy, clumsy, filthy but the jobs done.

For the other animals Pine cone is healing well, Hyker is frisky and Ivy is enjoying turnips fresh from the fields.

Now for the carding. Well that takes a comb. During the great journey he had traded for a bronze comb. He was hoping to gift it to a wife but guess its more a dowry tool. That made him laugh.

<Novrus whittling test>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on August 31, 2019, 04:14:38 AM

The next day he decided to make a wooden comb more suited to carding. That and if he kept doing the rough wool handling with the bronze comb sooner or later it could get damaged. Best to give it a superb cleaning too!

Day 2 of the 12th week to winter

Spent time preparing arrows and blunts for archery practice. This evening taking Hyker out with me to look for a rock for the water spirit ceremony or the forest spirit ant hill. Ah, but this must be done alone? Will the dog interfere? Best take Hyker home.

In the night the last of the silver ring is scrapped onto an ant hill near the homestead. Novrus tried this several times before. Sometimes feeling a presence but often passing into slumber. Perhaps his successes, the rituals, the unsetting traps when not needed, the great journey along the coasts and working with the villages may mean there is greater ties.

At last a strange elder with a great beard steps out of the branches. As if the tree turned to spit him out. A great coat of moss. Novrus tries to greet him. Silently he approaches.

“May your tracking be successful, your traps bountiful and your arrows accurate.”

Truly a favorable meeting with the great gray man of the forest!

<Novrus met grey man>
Title: Re: Journal of Norvus
Post by: Brygun on August 31, 2019, 04:44:25 AM

Traveling east to the “Flower wild” village with Doungi we talk about the meeting. He teaches me a ritual and incantation of leaving bread at a spruce on a high place to persuade the forest to keep things revealed. Trades are made for a Nerj scimitar and spear for winter reindeer furs and a bit of food. Most importantly is getting the metal into their hands rather than idling in the homestead stockpile.

A nerj has been seen north of the village. Scouting doesn’t find him. He’s gone to ground or weaved his own spirits to wrap him up.

Back at the homestead the trap fencing pit traps are reset. Things seem prosperous. Patches of crops are growing in. The cellar has reserves of meat already. Six different animals roam the enclosure with its half-barn. The smithy is working but needs ore. The first sauna-smoker house is servicing well while the main house to be needs a huge amount of lumbering to supply.

The forest spirit is happy. Novrus sleeps peacefully amid his walls and traps just in case.

<Novrus 2019-08-30>